The day for sequestration has finally arrived.
Congress has really outdone itself this time. They've become engulfed in the flames of their own dysfunction. They can't get out of their own way. All 535 members are taking America back to a wretched place with their ideologies and haphazard policy agendas.
Since the summer of 2011, Congress has operated within a negligent tinderbox. The debt ceiling debacle from that summer has led to this current, self-inflicted crisis. There has been a festive debate taking place in Washington between the leaders of the Republican Party and the White House on who is responsible for creating the idea for sequestration. At this juncture, pointing the finger and playing the blame game doesn't get the American people the government they voted for during the last election cycle.
Every three months, the United States government is on the cusp of a financial catastrophe. Sequestration could've been avoided if the representatives we've voted to govern our country actually understood the simple concept of governance. But here we are, hanging by a thread, seeing if something miraculous occurs between Republicans and Democrats tonight during their grand meeting. The word compromise has become an anathema in Washington, D.C. Brinksmanship has become the new common denominator.
As a result, sequestration looms like hurricane ready to destroy the last strands of hope for the middle class and working poor. These families will be the hardest hit once the process of sequestration gets enacted by President Obama. First responders, teachers, military servicemen and servicewomen, among others, are going to suffer the dire consequences from this incompetent, callow Congress.
According to the Budget Control Act of 2011, "Sequestration will cut $85 billion from the federal budget in the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year, slashing about $1.1 trillion more over the next decade." There is the potential for 750,000 jobs to be lost this year. Several budget cuts are scheduled to be made for education, public health, public safety, workforce training, government jobs, and women's health and child care services.
The various factions inside the Republican Party refuse to find common ground, which makes collaborating with President Obama and the Democrats an arduous endeavor. Congress pretends to work for a couple of months by bickering and then Speaker John Boehner calls for a recess like a kindergarten teacher, only to return a week or two later to bicker some more while the country suffers unspeakable harm.
On Tuesday, Boehner told reporters,
The president has known for 16 months that this sequester was looming out there when the super committee failed to come to an agreement. And so for 16 months, the president has been traveling all over the country holding rallies instead of sitting down with Senate leaders in order to try to forge an agreement over there in order to move a bill. We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
This type of insidious, partisan rhetoric has become emblematic of the legislative branch that exists today. Everyone, including the president, has been forced to operate along party lines and if a Republican or Democratic displays intestinal fortitude to work with the other side, they put themselves in a vulnerable position to be thrown out of office during the 2014 election cycle. So instead of doing what's right for the citizens of the country, there are two political parties who continue to govern by their personal interests. Congress is failing the American people, period.
Outcries for leadership are increasing by the day. According to a Pew Research poll, "76 percent of Americans want a deficit-reduction deal that includes some mix of spending cuts and tax increases," which is President Obama's position. President Obama has been steadfast in his desire to work with Republicans, but their outright defiance remains as they yearn for the country to go asunder. Out of utter frustration, he has taken an award tour across the country to let citizens know how atrocious these ramifications will be after sequestration occurs.
To his credit or some would say detriment, he still wants to work with Republicans to solve the numerous issues facing the country at the moment. Unfortunately, the 113th Congress has been in session for close to two months and they're already supplanting the 112th Congress as the most noxious body in the history of the republic. The worst may be yet to come. On March 27 the federal government will shut down if Congress can't find a resolution to another impending crisis. Congress is stacking problems on top of problems like pancakes from IHOP, but these are harder to swallow.
It may take weeks before Congress agrees to end the sequester, but until then, the financial future of America and her citizens swings back and forth like a pendulum.