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Opinion >  Letters

Shutdown violates regular order

Appropriations bills can start in the House where they are debated, amended and voted upon. If the bill passes it goes to the Senate where it is voted on. It can pass or fail or be sent back to the House with amendments. If it passes both the Senate and the House it goes to the president who can sign or veto the bill. This is what has been called regular order.

In the present shutdown, regular order has not been followed. The House has done its job - passing multiple bills to fund the government, to end the shutdown. The bills were sent to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to even bring them to a vote. The Senate has abdicated its responsibility to follow regular order because the leader of the Senate, seemingly, is intimidated by a temper tantrum thrown by the president when he does not get his way.

There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the president the right to shut down the government to further one item of his political agenda. And remember, the Senate is not part of the Executive branch.

Bob Johnston


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