The “Mom in Tennis Shoes,” Patty Murray, has become the “Senator in Tap Dance Shoes”. Her Viewpoint article (TNT, 7-19) seems to dance around some major facts.
• I was surprised at her admission that this spring the Senate passed the first budget in four years to deal with sequestration. What she failed to mention was that for the past four years it was the first time the Senate has passed a budget (an annual constitutional duty). The House of Representatives in each of the previous four years had passed a budget, sent it to the Senate, and had it declared “dead on arrival” by majority leader Harry Reid.
• Sequestration was a Democratic idea proposed by President Barack Obama. It was an effort to force the Republicans into a vote to raise taxes. When Republicans refused, because they had just allowed a $650 million tax increase to pay down the debt, sequestration became a reality.
• Murray was named head of the Blue Ribbon Panel to avoid the painful cuts of sequestration. She failed.
• Republicans offered a plan to allow government departments to shift monies within their budgets to avoid the most painful cuts.
Murray blames Republicans for the forced unpaid days off at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We now have learned that the Defense Department has spent millions buying land so they can avoid disturbing a gopher that inhabits the JBLM prairies. Perhaps our priorities are out of sync with reality.