A month into the fiscal year and Congress has not presented an appropriations bill for the President to sign because they don’t care enough about making things work when there are accusations to be flung, fights to pick (like SCHIP), and post offices to be named. The New York Times takes issue with the fact that they are putting the 2010 census at risk by failing to fund it.
The sad part of all this dithering in Congress is that there are more funding issues like the census, where there is little disagreement about how much funding it should receive, than there are like SCHIP where there is much disagreement about funding. The other sad thing is that the things where there is little disagreement are generally more important for keeping the government functioning than the bills where there is contention. The New York Times suggests that Congress should fund the census with their emergency appropriations bill for the California fires. They also offer a decent reason to explain the combination.
I agree and I think that Congress should also set about submitting an appropriations bill on all the other issues where there is little disagreement on the funding – at least we could ensure that parts of the government are funded while issues such as SCHIP are being “discussed.”