Congress isn't doing its job — and hasn't been for a while

We should all remember that the current drama in Washington turns on the passage of a continuing resolution — a temporary extension of existing spending levels — that was made necessary because Congress failed to pass a budget ("No progress toward deal on shutdown," Oct. 1).

The CR is a ham-fisted, crude instrument to keep the government running, not a substitute for a considered, negotiated budget. It was not so very long ago that the use of continuing resolutions to fund the government in lieu of a budget was considered an act of desperation.

Congress has failed, year after year, to do its primary job of passing a budget. The debate we need to have is not about the Affordable Care Act or the CR. It is not about which party deserved blame.

It is about the rules that make budgeting impossible, and the government's operation without a budget the norm. Congress needs to change its rules and do its job.

Mac Nachlas, Baltimore

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