Some cheered the “bipartisan” solution when the multi-trillion dollar omnibus, combining a continuing resolution for government funding with nearly $1 trillion in COVID-19 stimulus money, passed just before Congress left town before the holidays. Sadly, the reality is anything but a cause for celebration.

President Trump signed the bill on Sunday evening, but that came after days of inaction that did not help the economic uncertainty for millions of Americans. It also averts, for now, a government shutdown.

To be clear, the president and both the House and the Senate share responsibility for the current crisis. America has been to this fiscal cliff too many times to count in recent years.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It is simple to solve and even easier to prevent.

Congress has a constitutional duty to pass a budget, followed by 12 individual appropriations bills. This is the way funding the government is designed to happen. When Congress fails, the way to keep government funded is by passing a continuing resolution — a measure that keeps spending levels the same for a short amount of time. The CR has become synonymous for reckless and unaccountable spending.

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It is an easy sell for leaders of both parties. They lump all kinds of unrelated bills and spending deals into one package. It becomes the perfect all-or-nothing choice right before members are to leave town for a recess or holiday.

That false choice, which purports the only options are to pass an omnibus bill or shut down the government, is a massive deception on the part of both political parties, leadership in both chambers and the executive branch. America is $27 trillion in debt — one of the greatest threats to the nation’s security. 

Too many members of Congress love continuing resolutions because there is no transparency and zero accountability for perpetual out of control spending. Spending battles also make for good opportunities to raise money for campaigns.

This year, lawmakers rolled the $908 billion coronavirus relief package into an omnibus bill. They also folded in large amounts of spending for foreign aid and typical pet projects for members of Congress to tout back home. The relief package should have been put on the floor of the House and the Senate months ago and properly debated in front of the American people. 

Now, despite the flailing in Washington, Americans should not miss the opportunity to call on all of Congress to do its job. 

It just takes 51 senators to stand up and say “Enough!” They could force bills to be processed properly, one at a time, with debates, amendments and accountable votes — all in front of the American people.

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We’ve had enough. Many members of Congress claim they have had enough. But does anyone in Washington have the courage to stand up and “do enough” to deliver on their constitutional duties?

We implore both political parties, both chambers of Congress and both branches of governments to lead and to serve the people of this nation who are weary from the pandemic, economic uncertainty and divisive discord. 

If President-elect Joe Biden wants to change Washington and lead the nation, he should start with a declaration that he won’t take up any Senate or House priorities until the Congress has done its primary responsibilities. He, along with Kamala Harris, soon-to-be president of the Senate, can force the chamber to once again become a great deliberative body — provided they have the courage to say to the current and badly broken Congress: “Enough!”