While he signed the three-month transportation funding bill, President Obama delivered a stern lecture to Congress in general and John Boehner and Mitch McConnell specifically about their total inability to govern.
The President said:
Well, I am about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding, and that’s a good thing because if this wasn’t in front of me and ready for signature we would end up having projects all across the country be frozen after midnight.
On the other hand, we have now made it a habit where instead of five-year funding plans for transportation instead of long-term approaches, instead we operate as if we’re hand to mouth three months at a time, which freezes a lot of construction, which makes people uncertain, which leads to businesses not being willing to hire because they don’t have any long-term certainty. It’s a bad way for the U.S. government to do business.
We can’t have bridges collapsing and potholes not being filled because Congress can’t come up with an adequate plan to fund our infrastructure budget for more than three or five or six months at a time.
So I want to make sure that before I sign this Congress gets a clear message, and that is we should not be leaving all the business of the U.S. government until the last minute.
That little lecture was directed at two people whose names the President did not mention. Obama was talking about the dysfunction between Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate did their job. They negotiated a bipartisan multi-year agreement on transportation funding that Boehner’s House Republicans immediately refused to pass.
Republicans promised the American people that the governing from crisis to crisis behavior would stop if they were given control of both the House and Senate. Well, Republicans control Congress, and the dysfunction and chaos have grown worse.
President Obama has been forced into the role of the national parent who has to scold and reprimand Republicans who refuse to carry out their basic duties. The spoiled Republican children are taking millions of dollars in salary and benefits from the taxpayers while providing little in return.
The drama over the highway bill is nothing compared to the potential government shutdown that is looming after Congress returns from its August break. As the stakes get higher, it is expected that President Obama’s language will get even tougher as Boehner and McConnell appear to have no idea how to make this Congress work.