The House is back in session this week, and fresh off a major vote to fund the federal government for six more months.
I sat down with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa Friday morning for the first time since I arrived in Washington last week. The conversation covered lots of ground — rail, the Akaka Bill, military spending — that I’ll get to in future blog posts and articles.
For now, I’ll focus on the budget deliberations, which Hanabusa acknowledged is convoluted.
“Believe me, it is a crazy system. It’s taken me this long to even get to the point where I can read it and somewhat understand it,” she said. Hanabusa is nearing the end of her first term and has been on the job for around 20 months.
“For me, this is the second time. When we came in in 2011, there was a continuing resolution, and we it was sometime in the summer before we did the 2011 budget, which was by technically another CR that took us to the end. It’s not unusual to have CRs,” Hanabusa said.
“This year, we’re mimicking, to a certain extent, what happened in 2011. Not as bad, because in 2011 it was like every 30 days we’d have to kick it down the road. So this gives us enough time. I think everyone realizes, including the Republicans who control the House, that we’ve got to do something to take the focus away from a Congress that’s doing nothing, or one that’s going to threaten the closure of government.”
— Michael Levine