As Valentine’s Day came and went all across America many of us spent the long weekend with a loved one dining out, taking a trip, exchanging cards and gifts or quietly spending time together. But in the nation’s capital, valentines and signs of affection were nowhere to be found.
It started just the week before with the announcement of the President’s FY 2017 budget. For the first time in 41 years both the GOP House and Senate Budget Committee chairmen told the White House that they would not be inviting the President’s budget director to present the budget to Congress. Democrats fumed at the historic snub. Even worse GOP Freedom Caucus members took the opportunity to declare that the two year budget deal reached last year was off the table and they would oppose any bill that proposed to adhere to the increased spending limits it contained.
Then an opening occurred on the Supreme Court with the sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. Before the White House could offer any statement, some GOP senators were declaring that no White House appointment would even get a hearing. The White House issued a severe rebuke and other GOP senators seemed inclined to at least consider hearings.
By the time the week was over it looked more like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre than the cooperative tone that began the year. But, that’s an election year in Washington.
At Goodwill® we hope the tempest dies down and that the bipartisan discussions begin about eliminating poverty and extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), while reasonable heads prevail during budget talks. We’ll keep pushing ahead on all these fronts despite some partisan headwinds and we hope we can count on you to have our back by joining Goodwill’s Legislative Action Center where you can spread a little love and affection in our nation’s capital.