Blue Dog Leadership: What Happened to Basic Governance?

Jan 18, 2018
Press Release

Today, the co-chairs of the fiscally-responsible, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition—Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)—released the following statement on the proposed Continuing Resolution, which will fund the federal government until February 16, 2018:

“According to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. This pattern fits that definition of insanity. Today marks the fourth time during this fiscal year where we’ll have to vote on a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government to in order to buy the Republican-led Congress more time to come up with a long-term budget and create a permanent fix for DREAMers. The level of partisanship in Washington under the leadership of a Republican Congress and White House has proven that catering to the extremes of a party is not conducive to basic governance.

“The most basic job of Congress is to fund the federal government. This is simply inexcusable, and lurching from one self-inflicted crisis to another has real consequences for government operations. In fact, it inhibits military readiness and the military’s ability to adapt to the challenges of today. At a time when our nation is facing some of the most complex and daunting national security challenges—global terrorism, an emboldened Russian president who is committed to destabilizing the West, and a North Korean dictator who is running to acquire nuclear weapons that could hit the United States—we cannot afford to continue this irresponsible pattern.  

“Congress has kicked the can down the road for far too long. That’s why the Blue Dogs have backed key budgetary reforms, including the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would halt paychecks for all House and Senate members if they miss annual deadlines for budget and appropriations bills. Congress should live by the same rules the American people abide by every day: Do your job and do it on time, or you don’t get paid.

“We have said for years that bipartisan solutions are essential to restore good governance and fiscal responsibility in Washington. As Blue Dogs, we have tirelessly reached across the aisle to get the job done in Washington, and we won’t give up. We’ll continue to advocate for policies that hold Congress accountable to do its basic job on time, and for a true bipartisan budget solution, because Americans deserve better.”