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Letter: Filibusters have hijacked budget process in US Senate
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The method our Founding Fathers developed to effectuate a representative government was brilliant. This is done with an overall budget resolution stating what amounts are to be allocated to each appropriations subcommittee. There are 12 subcommittees and each will deliver an appropriations bill.

This process has been hijacked and the source of the problem is the United States Senate. And all parties involved refuse to address the problem.

A visit to Congress.gov 2016 Appropriations provides a visual aid to understand how we find ourselves standing on these financial cliffs each year.

For the 2016 Budget, the House has satisfied regular appropriations for Commerce, Justice, science, Defense, Energy, the legislative branch, military and veterans and Transportation.

Meanwhile, the Senate fails to bring forward the regular appropriations due to technical maneuvers such as the filibuster. As a result, regular appropriations are not being debated in the light of day.

Instead, a simple transportation bill is ingested into a temporary continuing resolution during September each year and then hidden from the public within a 2000 page omnibus appropriations bill to be passed as voters attention is focused on Christmas. The solution is simple: Kill the filibuster.

When asked to consider repealing or just modifying the filibuster, our Republican senators speak to tradition of the filibuster or not wanting to be found in the minority without the tool to combat the majority.

That is poppycock. It is now clear that Republicans are willing to allow this tactic to impede their core requirement of responsible stewardship with our tax dollars. They seem willing to participate in this magic show each year of hiding the spending until we are distracted by the calendar. And then proclaiming how they fought for our values and we must send them back to D.C. to fight on.

We must stop complaining at the dinner tables, coffee shops or call-in radio shows about the overspending of our elected officials. We must cease accepting the offer of platitudes about fighting the system. We must diagnose the problem and elect officials willing to resolve the problem.

Georgians have a senatorial election and we must demand that whomever we send to D.C. kill the filibuster. This rule is unnatural for the survival of a representative republic, and at a minimum should not be allowed when Congress is negotiating appropriation bills.

Joe Schuebert
Gainesville

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