September 14th, 2010
04:41 PM ET

Should Congress adjourn early when they haven't passed a budget?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our lawmakers ought to be ashamed of themselves:
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/17/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="A 2009 file photo of the National Debt Clock. That number now stands at over $13 trillion."]
They've yet to pass a federal budget, but some in Congress still think it's a good idea to leave town early to go home and campaign for the upcoming midterm elections. You know - go home and tell the folks what a great job they're doing.

The new fiscal year starts on October 1, and there are no signs Congress will have a new budget in place by then. This is inexcusable. Our national debt now tops $13 trillion. Annual deficits are running at more than $1 trillion. And without a budget it is impossible to have any idea what the hell the government is doing with our money. Our money.

In place of a budget, Congress usually passes what are called "continuing resolutions" for a month or two at a time. This prevents the federal government from shutting down. At this rate, Congress might not finalize a budget until after January - when the new Congress is sworn in. Four months from now.

So far, neither the House nor the Senate has even passed a formal budget resolution - which usually happens in the spring - last spring.

It's not to tough to figure out why there's no budget. Congress doesn't want to vote on a budget that could mean tough spending cuts right before an election. Heaven forbid. In other words, they are cowards.

But, no matter. Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the so-called House leaders are thinking about adjourning October 1 - a week earlier than scheduled - so they can go campaign for re-election. It's just disgraceful.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress consider adjourning early to campaign when they haven't passed a federal budget?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Congress • Economy • National debt
September 14th, 2010
04:16 PM ET

Obama admin. implementing a backdoor amnesty plan?


A Mexican immigrant detainee (L) holds hands with his wife and son during a family visitation at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility for illegal immigrants in Florence, Arizona. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If the following doesn't amount to a back door amnesty plan for millions of illegal aliens, I don't know what does.

The federal government, which has long ignored our nation's immigration laws, choosing instead to sue states like Arizona which are overrun with illegal aliens, is changing its strategy.

They're focusing more on illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes - which makes sense. But by doing so the threat of deportation for millions of others who are in the U.S. illegally is reduced.

USA Today outlines some of the recent changes... including a proposal that would prohibit police from using misdemeanor traffic stops to send people to immigration officials.

The administration is also looking for ways to allow college students and spouses of military personnel to legalize their status or avoid deportation... if Congress doesn't pass immigration reform.

Critics say these measures show the government is "thumbing its nose at the law" and some suggest the Obama administration is trying to create a kind of backdoor amnesty program.

Immigration advocates are also not happy. They say deportations are at record highs and immigrants who stay in the U.S. are living in limbo - without any form of legal status.

With a record backlog of deportation cases and lacking an unlimited budget - the government says it makes sense to target people who pose the biggest threat to public safety.

Meanwhile it should come as no surprise that more than 20 states are now considering immigration laws like the one passed in Arizona. The public has had a bellyful of the government's impotence on this issue, and some states are trying to protect themselves.

Here’s my question to you: Is the Obama administration implementing a backdoor amnesty plan?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Obama Administration