Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rick Perry Responds To Federal 'Shutdown'

As of midnight, the over-extended FY09 budget has run out. Many non-essential federal bureaucratic offices are out of funding until a new budget or another continuance of the FY09 budget is passed.

Governor Rick Perry of Texas issued the following statement concerning the 'shutdown':

"House Republicans offered a compromise solution that would temporarily address Republican concerns about Obamacare while also allowing the federal government to continue to operate. But the Obama administration’s and Harry Reid’s my-way-or-the-highway mentality jeopardizes essential functions of not only the federal government but also state services. Democrat leadership in Congress has refused to negotiate, and in so doing is jeopardizing thousands of employees, critical services, and economic recovery.

"In anticipation of the federal government’s looming shutdown, I directed state agencies that will be affected by the suspension of federal funding to develop contingency plans to prioritize essential functions and use existing budget transfer authority to allow these services to Texans to continue until Washington gridlock ends."

It is evident that the government of the Republic of Texas is preparing to do as Texas does -- act in a self-sufficient manner. Here is Governor Perry's letter to the state bureaucratic offices, issued on Sept. 26, 2013:

"If Congress fails to negotiate a continuing resolution before the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013expires next Monday (September 30), state agencies that receive discretionary federal funds must be prepared to continue essential operations in the face of a shutdown of the federal government.

"I expect that each agency will continue to perform its duties to serve the citizens of Texas. In the face of a temporary lapse in federal funds, state agencies should be prepared to implement plans that maintain operations and ensure continuation of essential functions and services to Texans. As agencies develop those plans, they should establish funding priorities for those services most critical to the health, welfare and safety of Texans. Plans should first use existing budget transfer authority to continue services if federal funding is curtailed during a shutdown. Your plans should identify services that might be temporarily disrupted.

"I urge you to reach out to your federal agency counterparts to seek guidance on how to handle any federal funds you receive for federal programs you administer that would be affected by the failure of Congress to approve a funding resolution that continues government appropriations. Part of that discussion should include written clarification regarding whether the state may be reimbursed.once federal funding resumes for costs for federal programs charged to state funds during any shutdown. I am enclosing a letter from the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that was sent to federal agency leaders that might be useful. The following is a link to OMB that should have updated information from the federal government; http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb.

"Agencies also should provide state leadership with a copy of their operational plans in the event of a shutdown of the federal government that clearly indicates funding priorities, temporary funding strategies for continuing those government functions, functions that could be impaired by the lapse in funding and a timeline of when your agency's programs might be impaired were the impasse in Congress to continue for an extended period of time. Please send a copy of those plans by October 1 to Kate McGrath, Director of my Budget Planning and Policy division, as well as to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Speaker of the House Joe Straus and the Legislative Budget Board.

"If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office."

 Recent History of the "Shutdown"

The federal government has not passed a budget since President George W. Bush's last year in office. That budget covered until October 1, 2009. Since, the House and Senate have passed "continuing resolutions" on the FY09 budget. The military has been funded through annual National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) that the US Constitution mandates on, at a minimum, a biannual basis.

For the FY10 and FY11 budgets, that go into effect on Oct. 1 of the previous calendar years, Obama's party controlled both houses of congress. They still failed to pass a budget and have the president execute it. However, in a purely partisan vote, they passed a largely (and increasingly) unpopular law nicknamed "Obamacare".

Since the "grass roots revolution" in the 2010 elections (taking office in Jan. '11, working on the FY12 budget), the US House of Representatives, with a Republican Majority, has passed several budget bills. The Democrat majority held by the US Senate refused to pass them. Obama's proposed budget bills failed to pass either house of congress, including several that met unanimous "nay" votes from the Democrat controlled Senate.

In an effort to pass the FY14 budget, there were 12 budget bills proposed in the House. For those uneducated in the US Constitution, all budget and tax bills must originate in the US House. Of those 12 bills, 4 were passed by the house. All 4 were voted down by the US Senate, mostly due to a Democrat majority and the urging of majority leader Harry Reid. Harry Reid has been working as the "president of the senate", which is the primary job of  the US Vice President, Joe Biden.

With 4 previous actual budgets hitting the Senate along with now two last-minute continuing  resolutions meant to buy some time to attempt to pass another, Harry Reid and his cronies have refused to vote in favor of providing funds to many of the necessary bureaucratic agencies and offices in the federal government.

Even if Democrats had "crossed the aisle" and passed one of the budgets or CRs, Obama has threatened to veto them, because they aren't his budgets. Per the US Constitution, it is not the president's job to determine the federal budget in the first place. It isn't his authority or his "way" to have.

More Shutdown History

This is not a new event. It has happened before. Some have learned from history, others see fit to repeat it.

It appears that Governor Perry and other Texas leaders learned from history. Too many states count too heavily on federal funding for what, according to the US Constitution, are state and local level programs, authorities, functions, and responsibilities. Wiser state government are prepared to be as the US Constitution intended -- self-sufficient.

Under President Clinton, there were a few budgetary "shutdowns". Prior to a short CR that expired before the 26-day '95-'96 shutdown, there was a brief 5-day shutdown. The after-effects of the those shutdowns was a better economy and a budgetary surplus over the following few years, leading up to the Global War on Terror. Those budgets were generated by Newt Gingrich and fiscal conservatives in the US House. Clinton opposed the budgets, but took all the credit for their positive outcomes.

There was a shutdown under Reagan, because several opposed the smaller-government policies and "supply side" fiscal policies he sought to employ. Eventually, those plans were passed and went into effect. The country benefited.

Under Carter, there was a shutdown for similar reasons.

The same with Nixon.

Our country is still here. In the aftermath of each of these shutdowns we improved. Carter's shutdown lead to his defeat by Ronald Regan. President Reagan's shutdown led to better fiscal policy and responsibility during his administration. Clinton's led to budgetary surpluses and much needed  military pay raises.