fresh voices from the front lines of change







Originally posted at Capital Gains and Games.

Over at TPM, Brian Beutler has a story about House Republican efforts to cut the budget of the Office of Management and Budget.

The story is sad and ridiculous: it shows that House Republicans have become just like the kid in the schoolyard who throws a tantrum and threatens to take the ball and go home if what he or she wants isn’t done immediately.

The bottom line: The House GOP says its going to reduce OMB’s budget by $9 million from 2012 to 2013.

Never mind that there’s no indication that OMB is overstaffed or inefficient in any way. In fact, I haven’t been able to find a single written analysis or congressional hearing where OMB’s efficiency was seriously questioned. In other words, this decision isn’t based on facts; it’s all political.

Never mind that $9 million doesn’t even qualify as a rounding error when it comes to the federal budget and that the cost of the GOP’s deciding to reduce OMB’s budget by this amount probably wiped out a significant part of the proposed reduction.

And never mind that one of the biggest costs OMB incurs every year is preparing materials at Congress’ request and testifying before congressional committees.

How about this in response?

  1. No one from OMB testifies before a House committee until the GOP drops this provision.
  2. OMB provides no printed copies of any materials to a House GOP member or a committee — including the president’s budget and the mid-session review of the budget — and, if they want it, it has to be downloaded from the OMB website.
  3. Most important, because OMB has to prepare for the possibility that this reduced budget will become law, it slows down the apportionment process (the formal procedure that enables appropriations to be spent once they’ve been enacted) so that funds going to GOP-held congressional districts are withheld until the virtual smaller staff gets to fill out the appropriate paper work.

What’s next? John Boehner holding his breath?


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