The Latest GOP Plan to Shut Down the Government

Senate Republicans have now decided to shut down the government again. Will Obama respond? Or would that not be bipartisan enough?

Per TPM, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has placed a hold on all of President Obama’s pending nominations.  And apparently it’s because he didn’t get enough pork:

Shelby is holding Obama’s nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. CongressDaily laid out the programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:

– A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From the report: “Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals.” Federal Times offers more details on the tanker deal, and also confirms its connection to the hold.

– An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: “[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won’t build” the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based “at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.”

Isn’t it great that conservatives are so strong on fiscal discipline?

The Senate is scheduled to go into recess over President’s Day weekend.  Obama should — no, he must — give recess appointments to all those on hold.  Every.  Single.  One.

This is a test.  Obama has so far not made a single recess appointment in the face of the most repeated abuse of Senate rules in Congressional history.   When Jim DeMint put a hold on the nomination of the TSA chief even after the underpants bomber,  Obama threw his own nominee under the bus.

If he lets the GOP get away with this one, he should resign and look for a job he is interested in.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

3 thoughts on “The Latest GOP Plan to Shut Down the Government”

  1. If President Obama does as you suggest then he will have fired Rahm Emanuel, and that would make me reconsider my original plan to spend the next presidential election day watching Mork and Mindy reruns. But I'm not holding my breath.

  2. "If he lets the GOP get away with this one, he should resign and look for a job he is interested in."

    The problem with that suggestion is that the job Obama is actually interested in is campaigning for President as though it were 2008 and all he had to do was show up and not be McCain/Palin.

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