Patrick Derocher: My New Year’s Resolution

This is what I need to do. Congress should be getting us a budget.

While considering what  I would write for this (potentially) apolitical piece, all I could think about was my senior thesis. I’ll be finishing my bachelor’s in December,  and while this plan has certain advantages (moving out of dorms a semester early), it also means I have to write my thesis in my last semester of school. I mean that I really have to get it done, which is a bit of an issue given that it’s a month in and I have… slightly more than nothing. Granted, it’s not that I’m worried about finishing. Rather, it’s that I need to put my nose to the grindstone; focus on doing the research, writing, and classwork I have to do; and not let unnecessary distractions get in my way. There is something here that needs to get done, whether I like it or not, and only once I have it taken care of can I do other things, engage in the activities I want to, expand beyond what I have to do…

Kind of like Congress.

It occurs to me that this is a rather simple lesson Congress could learn, too, and use as its New Year’s resolution. At the risk of inflicting overly-cute wordplay on this blog’s readers, it seems that Congress should adopt a Resolutions Resolution. In recent years, Congress has become reliant upon continuing resolutions as a way of allowing the federal government to function in lieu of actual appropriations bills. Although Congress hasn’t been using such measures as much as a decade ago (there were 21 for the 2001 budget), it is much worse now than in, say, the latter half of the Bush Administration, and still historically very high. This is silly. Constitutionally, the budget is absolutely paramount among Congress’s duties; that the body cannot even pass such basic laws is a travesty, one that Congress should take it upon themselves to fix. Here is my proposal for Congress’s Resolutions Resolution: focus until you can pass a budget in a timely fashion. No commemorations, no pet projects, no filler, no nothing until continuing resolutions are not in constant use as a fiscal and legislative crutch.


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