The folks over at the United States Congress are the living embodiment of the above quote.
This current month of September is the last month of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14), which means it is up to Congress to pass the collection of appropriations bills that will fund the federal government for the next twelve months. For FY15, Congress has to fund eleven bills from Agriculture to Transportation/HUD.
As of this writing, the full Congress (House and Senate) has not passed a single appropriation bill to send to the President for his signature. In fact, the Senate has not even voted on one funding bill. The House, at least, has given their ayes and nays on seven. Congress.gov has the full figures here.
Now, please recall, that appropriating money is one of the functions the United States Constitution gives to legislators (Article I, Section 9, Clause 6 for those who want to refer to the pocket version of the document I’m sure you have on you) so missing the deadline to allocate funds for the start of fiscal year is to akin to you failing to do one of your job’s responsibilities. Not sure how long you would remain employed if you consistently fell short of a mandated deadline.
Now that Congress is back to work (or sort of back to work as I wrote about in this post), one would think that the Representatives and Senators would roll up their sleeves and pass the eleven appropriation bills before September 30 rolls around.
One would be dead wrong.
At least one member of Congress already knows the jig is up and that the legislators will emulate Sara McLachlan and break a deadline (for the umpteenth time). On September 9, the second day back from their August recess, Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers (R, KY) introduced House Joint Resolution 124 which is a continuing resolution, or CR.
This CR from the gentleman from Kentucky would continue to fund the federal government at FY14 levels until December 11, 2014. It’s like he already knew that Congress would not do their duty. Well, he has been in Congress since 1981 so I guess he has some experience in watching those appropriations deadlines be broken.