LANDRY: Why I Refuse To Play The Washington Game

Yesterday, Washington politicians failed to take responsibility for their actions.

Instead of working for real solutions to our debt crisis or finding actual answers to our fiscal challenges, they wasted an entire day debating a resolution whose singular purpose is covering their backsides after they voted to increase the debt ceiling last August.

I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. It is clear that many in the United States House of

Representatives will vote for anything – including this fake resolution of debt ceiling increase disapproval (H.J.Res. 98) –to get re-elected.

For years, Washington politicians have attempted to dupe the American public. When they’re home, they say they are fighting for fiscal responsibility; but when they get to Washington, they just continue to misspend and misuse our hard-earned money. They say they go to Washington to fix problems, but in reality, they are part of the problems.

When the Washington politicians voted for the D.C. deal in August, they did nothing to cure Washington’s addiction to spending. Instead of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and giving Americans the choice of whether they want Congress to balance its books or not, the Washington politicians skirted the government’s spending problem.

By raising the debt ceiling, these Washington politicians kicked the can down the road and refused to make the tough choices necessary to bring our budget back into the black. They also bucked what few difficult decisions they could make to a select group of members meeting in secret.

Now, the same people that voted to increase the debt ceiling and create the Super Committee want to make America forget their past actions by passing a resolution of disapproval – a resolution which essentially tells the President, “Hey, you remember when we passed a law that gave you the authority to raise the debt ceiling and keep spending America into oblivion? Yeah, don’t do that.”

As laughable as that sounds on its face, it gets worse. This resolution of disapproval was never designed to pass.  In fact, it is specifically designed to fail in the Senate – allowing the President to raise the debt ceiling just like those who supported the August deal gave him the authority to do.

And if by some heavenly miracle this phantom resolution did pass the Senate, it would be vetoed by the president and Congress would be unable to override.  You have to admit, this is truly Washington double speak at its best.

As someone who voted against the debt ceiling increase and against the Super Committee, I refuse to participate in this smokescreen.  When Congress wasted our time with this resolution of disapproval, I voted Present.

By doing so, I’m telling Washington, “I’ll never lie to my constituents and I’m done playing your games.” I refuse to partake in these Washington games that only serve as political cover for politicians worried about their next election.

If the Washington politicians really wanted to block the debt increase, they would have joined me in August and voted against the Budget Control Act.

It’s a shame Washington politicians spent yesterday playing CYA – more concerned about a press release than the next generation.

I came to Congress to focus on concrete solutions and make tough decisions not follow the status quo in Washington that has led us to this irresponsible level of debt.

It’s time for the Washington politicians to do the same: be honest with the American people, balance America’s budget, and end business as usual.

Rep. Jeff Landry is a Louisiana Republican who was first elected to Congress in 2010. This piece originally appeared at the Washington Examiner.

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