Congress Is Unanimous: Government Workers Will Get Their Pay
There is hope yet that Democrats and Republicans can reach a unanimous accord. Unfortunately for the public at large, that spirit of cooperation will benefit only those in the employ of the federal government.
The House voted unanimously Saturday (a vote of 407 to 0, with 25 not voting) to pay federal workers retroactively when the shutdown ends.
When the House Republicans offered a bill funding the National Institute for Health (NIH), with no strings attached, to fund cancer research for children, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused. A CNN reporter asked him why he would not support this legislation if "it could save one child's life"; Reid indignantly responded, "Why would we do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. ... They have a few problems of their own."
Well, if the Senate passes this legislation from the House (it is reported that Obama has already said he will sign it if it hits his desk), those 1,100 will be getting their pay. Granted, they will not be paid until the shutdown is over, but they will still have their jobs, and they will be getting their money. They are being inconvenienced, but they will get over it.
It is a bit more difficult for a child to get over cancer. All the time the Democrats refuse to make concessions for truly important functions of government is time lost that could actually save lives.
The Democrats' stance against accepting "piecemeal" legislation apparently does not apply to helping their own. This, along with the delay of the employer mandates of ObamaCare for their corporate cronies and subsidies for congressmen and their staff, is yet another example of a political class that holds the public in contempt and actually believes they its own members are more deserving and important than anyone else in the country.
Victor Keith writes from Burbank, California and can be contacted at victorakeith.com.