Well, at least Congress this time didn't wait until government operations had to be shut down for a day or two. Still, our national legislative body's tendency to talk big and act small continues.
Late as usual with its annual spending legislation, Congress has taken the first step to ensure the government will keep functioning when the new fiscal year begins next week. On a voice vote and with no dispute, the House approved a bill that would provide enough money for the government to operate through Oct. 17. The measure thus moves to the Senate.
Fiscal 1992 begins next Tuesday. So far, only two of the 13 annual bills that provide funds for the government for the new fiscal year have been signed into law. Without such legislation in place, unfunded agencies would have to shut down. The temporary bill will keep federal agencies from the Pentagon to the Agriculture Department functioning at this year's spending levels.
This is the kind of thing the House and Senate should have dispensed with long ago, so there would not be even a hint of an 11th-hour crisis. Why does this seem to happen every year?
Of course, we must bear in mind that the lawmakers needed to make sure they got in their full summer recess and all their self-serving junkets. Seems they just haven't been able to get around to a lot of the things they are supposed to do.