In the following weeks, the House of Representatives adopted a budget like the one it passed last year, called the Ryan Budget for its primary author, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. And the Senate, controlled by Democrats, has also passed a budget. I don’t think that either version is what we need – a budget that cuts wasteful spending, provides a basic safety net, reforms and simplifies our broken tax code, supports a sound national defense and invests in our future through education, scientific research and infrastructure. But now that we have a budget from each chamber, we can work together to resolve differences through discussions and compromise.
Or so you would think…
Yes, with the across-the-board sequester cuts now taking effect, with 30,000 military jobs at risk just in San Diego County, with scientists having to stop their work mid-experiment and with the still skittish economy wondering what in the heck the U.S. government is going to do next, Congress has apparently stopped work on the budget.
When I travel home to San Diego, I hear a sense of urgency about economic conditions, and a finalized and regular federal budget could help a lot. But in DC, I see detachment and complacency.
I will continue to urge my colleagues and our leaders that our duty is to do the people’s business. You can do the same. Whether you are a member of a national organization interested in the federal budget or government, or whether you are a concerned individual, go ahead and call or send an email and let Congress know it’s time to appoint budget conferees and get back to work.
Peters, a freshman congressman, serves California’s 52nd Congressional District. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.