There’s a scene in the 1980 movie “Airplane” when a woman loses it and passengers take turns slapping her while shouting at her, “Calm down, get a hold of yourself.”
The scene in Washington is no laughing matter as House Republicans can’t seem to get it together after House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to resign rather than continue to battle — not only Democrats but also members of his own party. His chosen successor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, decided to leave the race for speaker. Now the GOP majority is attempting to twist the arm of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to take the job.
Frankly, like most Americans, we are more concerned with the job that must be done rather than who is doing it. Congress has several big issues ahead before the end of the year that will reverberate through Middle Georgia and the rest of the country. There is a continuing resolution in place until December that will keep the government operating until then, but if they extend that resolution for the rest of the fiscal year, all branches of the military will be hit hard. Defense One reported that if a budget deal is not reached, the Pentagon will have to cancel a $5.8 billion deal for C-130 cargo planes. And, according to William LaPlante, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions, there are “50 other Air Force projects impacted by the continuing resolution.”
One of the projects caught in the cross hairs of the continuing resolution is J-STARS. The Air Force has been looking for a new airplane, and three companies are in process of developing a replacement hoping to win the contract. But according to Defense News, LaPlante also said, “There is still a possibility given the budget that (the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System project) may not happen.”
And what of Robins Air Force Base? In an interview with Defense News, Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, said, “If we have a yearlong (continuing resolution), first of all, new starts would not start. The programs that we are going to ramp up, we can’t. ...”
Our message to our representatives in Washington should be clear. Get on with the people’s business. Fulfill your oaths of office and protect the homeland. Get busy.