Opinion: Congress needs to come up with a long-term solution for the federal budget

From left, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meet with reporters after House Republicans held a closed-door strategy session as the deadline looms to pass a spending bill to fund the government by week's end, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Any of us who put together budgets for our families, businesses or jobs know that it takes a lot of time and effort.

Having said that, agreeing on a federal budget is exactly what our elected officials in Congress are paid to do.

Last week, Congress prevented a federal government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution for 14 days. That will expire on Dec. 22. Before the 22nd, Congress is expected to pass another CR. That would punt the budget into next year.

The problem is that there is a law called the Budget Control Act, BCA, which impose across-the-board cuts in the operations of the government as of Jan. 1, 2018 if a budget is not passed.

The BCA was enacted in 2011 and imposed federal spending limits for a decade. There was hope that those cuts would be nuanced, but elected officials could not come up with an agreement -- surprise, surprise -- so the caps were imposed across the board.

This would be the same as if when cutting down your family’s budget you did not have the choice of whether to get rid of that rental beach house or to limit how much electricity your family uses.

The Budget Control Act caps can be raised but not without an actual federal budget being passed.

Here is the bottom line: arbitrary, across the board, cuts to our defense and other federal functions are not acceptable. Our elected officials need to leave the stop gaps behind and work toward an actual long term solution on the budget.

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