Responsive Government at Work

Recently, in the blogisphere, there was an underlying conversation going on, albeit low-key, about the drama that’s been going on in Washington, D.C., with regard to the government shut-down and the debt limit crisis, etc. Whenever it’s been mentioned, I’ve responded by saying that we all needed to at least communicate with our elected representatives and let them know we are not going to be pushed around any longer, if they didn’t clean up this current mess, they would never get my/our vote again.

I did that. I found the websites of my House representative and our Senators, and I basically, in different wording for each, gave them that message. No more voting in incumbents if something could not be done – and soon!

Yesterday, I heard back from one of my representatives and, rather than communicating back to me in layman’s terms how sorry he/she was and how things were going to change, this was the reply, verbatim:

Dear (me),

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling. I welcome the opportunity to respond.

First, I value and appreciate the work done by the approximately 2 million federal employees nationwide. Their efforts provide critical government support and services for all Americans. On October 1, when there was a failure to appropriate funds for the purpose of carrying out federal government functions, the law required that all employees be “furloughed,” provided a limited number of employees – narrowly defined in the statute = could be excepted from furlough. I agree that the result was troubling, and I voted 16 times to restore governance as well as signed a “discharge petition” trying to force a vote on the matter. Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner refused to allow a vote until the government had been shut down for more than 2 weeks and we were about to default on our debts.

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, government appropriations – albeit at a low level – were passed and all government functions will be operative at least through January 15, 2014. The debt ceiling – which provides for payment of past due debts, not future spending – will allow payment of debts at least through February 7, 2014. Congress must use the interim period to resolve budget differences so that the whole next fiscal year’s spending is set once and for all.

In the end, great damage was done by those who refused to work with others toward common sense solutions, and who even tried to nullify established law by threatening a shutdown. Government cannot operate with repeated, manufactured crises. Hopefully, Speaker Boehner’s determination to finally allow a vote on a continuing resolution signals that the Republican majority will no longer attempt such a threat to our democracy.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to do so regarding any matter of concern to you.

Sincerely,

(blah-blah-blah)

So, I already knew all that. I guess I just want an apology for things such as the 2-1/2 day work week that Congress enjoys, the lavish paychecks that Congress continued to get while 800,000 workers, who really needed the money, got nada, oh and an apology for the various congressional members who were complaining during the shutdown that they didn’t have enough towels in the gym on Capitol Hill. Something along those lines.

I didn’t see that.

Therefore, I plan to vote for candidates in upcoming elections who are NOT incumbents. If you are IN THE JOB, you get no vote from me. And until all of the citizens of this country do that, we can only expect more of this same shafting of the rest of us by our employees, these politicians.

If I hear back from any of the others I wrote to, I’ll keep you abreast.

As ever,

Bex

It’s in every one of us to be wise;

Find your heart, open up both your eyes.

We can all know every thing without ever knowing why.

It’s in every one of us, by and bye.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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8 Responses to Responsive Government at Work

  1. T.S. says:

    I’m signing up for your movement, Bex! Let’s gettum!

    Like

  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    So, it’s looking like Bex got a reply from a Democrat in the House (the minority folks that didn’t have the power to force the vote) and Bonnie got a response from a Republican in the Senate (also a minority in the Congress, but at least the Senate was trying to fix things).

    The Democrat in the House can legitimately point fingers at the Republican majority and say “It’s THEIR fault.” And the Republican minority Senator can legitimately point fingers at the other half of Congress (the House) and also say “It’s not ME!”

    Makes sense to me that both of you got answers from people that were actually trying to get things done. And not at all surprising that neither of you heard from the Republicans in the House, which were the troublemakers that were causing problems.

    Bex, I’ll caution you – don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The Senators really were some of the few actually trying to get things moving.

    Like

  3. Irene Fulton says:

    You all impress me!

    Like

  4. Bonnie says:

    Dear Mrs. Blayney:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the operations of the federal government. I recognize the time and effort that you are dedicating to actively participate in the democratic process, and I appreciate that you and other concerned citizens have provided me the benefits of your comments on these matters.

    I share the frustration of many Texans over the actions which led to the unnecessary government shutdown. I also understand concerns about the negative effects it has generated across the country, creating further uncertainty and instability in our economy.

    As you may know, the Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (P. L. 113- 46) was signed into law on October 17, 2103. This legislation funds the discretionary operations of the federal government through January 15, 2014, and suspends the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014. While I support reopening the federal government, I opposed this legislation because it fails to tackle the fiscal and spending challenges that face our nation. Continuing on this unsustainable path will lead to severe economic problems in the not too distant future.

    Going forward, Congress and the President need to work together to implement the spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms necessary to strengthen the long-term fiscal integrity of our country. Every dollar borrowed today means higher taxes tomorrow. At a time when Texans are tightening their belts, Congress must reign in Washington�s runaway spending. Our national debt exceeds $16 trillion—making it larger than our entire economy—and it has increased by more than 50 percent since the beginning of the Obama Administration. We spend more than $30,000 per household and borrow almost 23 cents of every dollar. With today�s unsustainably high deficits and with more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities hanging over us, our toughest fiscal decisions cannot be postponed any longer.

    I am always appreciative when Texans take the time to reach out and share their concerns. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

    Sincerely,
    JOHN CORNYN
    United States Senator

    The response I got.

    Like

  5. Bex says:

    Thatta girl Em… NO INCUMBENTS! That’s the movement we need to get going… NO INCUMBENTS IN NOVEMBER!

    Like

  6. mz. em says:

    The response you received doesn’t surprise me at all. It really burns me that they kept their paycheck and furloughed everyone else. I’m not voting for any incumbents this coming voting season.

    Like

  7. Bex says:

    I totally agree, Harriet. We need a movement…

    Like

  8. l'empress says:

    As I said, it is time to rethink the luxury of having everyone congregate in one fine city at our expense. It is no longer 1800; they could phone it in!

    Like

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