Do Your Job Congress

By Beacon Staff

Sen. John Walsh recently introduced the Do Your Job Act, which mandates that Congress cannot recess until a balanced budget passes. By Tuesday’s primary election, the U.S. House will have worked fewer than 60 days in session this year. For that, members earn a minimum salary of $174,000 per year.

Walsh is spot on that Washington should balance the federal budget. But unlike the House, the Senate still must act responsibly. The U.S. House has been attacking health care services like Medicare and Medicaid. The House is full of ideological nonsense like increasing the age of retirement or privatizing Social Security.

And earlier this year, the House passed a budget that chops $500 billion in federal spending for the next 10 years. It cuts public health care services like Medicare and Medicaid while upping military spending and offering more tax reductions for top income brackets.

The House budget transforms services like food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid into state run voucher-like programs for select people. The budget significantly cuts funding for weather-related insurance for farmers growing crops like wheat and barley.

In essence, the House asks those with the most to do the least, and those with the least to do the most. It’s an embarrassingly lopsided vision that ignores the greatness of our country. And clearly outlines the House priorities to achieve a balanced budget.

Walsh is shaking up the political establishment with his bill to work until a balanced budget is achieved. The Do Your Job Act is exactly the kind of kick in the butt that Congress needs to get moving and stop messing about.

Walsh appears to be no fan of entitlement cuts. Walsh said, “I won’t allow cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other programs that serve our most vulnerable Americans.”

D.C. Democrats are not overly happy about Walsh’s proposal. It means more than halftime work and a balanced budget.

In all likelihood Walsh secures the Democratic nomination come Tuesday. During the primary debates Walsh focused on his general election opponent notably more than his primary challengers.

The airwaves are filling up with Walsh ads. In a very hard-hitting ad, Walsh ties his likely November opponent, Rep. Steve Daines, to China jobs. The stark ad showing Daines, in what looks like a factory in China, is sure to resonate with Montanans looking for more stateside jobs like manufacturing.

If we’re lucky, Congress will get real and address the backlog of issues facing the nation. But it’s becoming blatantly apparent that sending more ideologues to Washington will only produce more gridlock and longer shutdowns.

The shutdown and other political nonsense fueled voters into likely rejecting Tea Party candidates in recent Republican primary elections across the nation. Montana has yet to decide but voters are surely seeking practical solutions to the everyday problems that face ordinary families.

The issues facing the nation are not overly complex; it’s just that the status quo does not want to work together toward a fix. Montana limited the amount of time the state Legislature can meet every two years. The 90-day clock assures that the work gets done, even if it’s mostly at the last possible minute.

Walsh is right that there should be no recesses for Congress until after they pass a balanced budget. Debt is a big deal, and reasonably neutralizing the budget deficits is a good place to start.

Walsh has a long history of service in Montana. Walsh is level headed and every bit as gritty a servant as Montana deserves. But who continues in the footsteps of political giants like former Sen. Max Baucus and former Sen. Mike Mansfield, will be decided by voters with mail-in ballots or at Tuesday’s polls.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.