On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

PostLeadership

Last-minute Congressional logjam: Few pros, plenty of cons

The tax cut deal, it appears, is all over but the shouting. Liberal Democrats are in revolt, publicly expressing anger over the bill, but signs show the White House may have enough support for the bill to pass. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called it "essentially final."

If that's true, the most difficult leadership challenge for President Obama and the rest of Congress will be to redirect attention to the enormous tasks ahead of them all. You may think your December has a long to-do list, but Congress faces the extraordinary job of passing a nuclear arms treaty and a $1.1 trillion bill to keep the government running within the next two weeks.

While there's not as clear-cut of a looming deadline for the START treaty--though Obama has made promises to Russia it would happen--the delay in the government funding bill is yet another example of our leaders procrastinating on some of the most important issues they face. The 12 appropriations bills that Congress is trying to pass, either individually or as part of a massive omnibus bill, should have been passed and signed into law by Sept. 30. But with a public disillusioned over government spending, politicians pushed a vote on the measure until after the election.

Perhaps there's an upside to the last-minute logjam Congress faces. We all work better under pressure, and the threat of a deadline could push the two sides to negotiate a little more. Whatever you may think of the tax cut deal--and it's hard for anyone concerned about the deficit not to see the extensions as troubling--the expiring cuts did at least force the two sides to come to some version of a compromise.

But I'd argue the likely downsides are greater. Democrats are trying to push through tacked-on measures and line-item earmarks that, while small relative to much bigger budget issues, are political dynamite. Meanwhile, Republicans are arguing against such add-ons to a stopgap bill, even though they may be to programs in need of greater funding. Whatever gets pushed through Congress is likely to have a combination of line-item earmarks the country doesn't need and underfunded areas that require more resources.

Whatever the outcome of the bill, and it's not likely to be pretty with that mishmash of agendas, the even more troubling downside is what it says about how our leaders view rules and deadlines in the face of political gain. Putting off tough decisions may help you look better in the short term, but it's hardly leadership. Making the details and intricacies of a trillion dollar budget a top priority that doesn't get pushed to the last minute, however, is.

By Jena McGregor

 |  December 8, 2010; 1:16 PM ET |  Category:  Bad leadership , Crisis leadership , Economic crisis , Federal government leadership , Government leadership , Presidential leadership , Succession planning Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The tax cut deal: Procrastination, not leadership | Next: Florida Gators' coach Urban Meyer calls it quits--right?

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Sux123, I don't think there are enough logs in all of the world, considering how bloated the Republicans are.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PqHzVoTD5c


Posted by: jakrdy | December 10, 2010 7:36 AM

You'd think Congress would feel the sense of urgency to do its work, but it's all politics all the time.
This feigned revolt over the tax deal is just another buying of time til Axelrod can read the wind gauge and calculate how to use every sound bite for the 2012.
The Lincoln-Obama parallels never were.
Lincoln was a man whose humble upbringing developed genuine empathies along with awareness of the true nature of men. Obama had no such humble upbringing. Rather, his
beatnik mother and deadbeat father lived a beachcomber life on the deep pockets of his shallow, self inflated grandparents.
Obama's got nuthin and it's obvious to
even his most zealous former supporters.
(the last part of this post is waiting to find your Lincoln/Obama promised article)

Posted by: realitybased1 | December 9, 2010 10:56 AM

Losing Lincoln? Really?? Obama has never had ANY personal or ideological traits that are comparable with Lincoln.

losing Lincoln LMAO Can't lose what you never had.

Posted by: Straightline | December 9, 2010 10:49 AM

Why is it that the commenters on this site call Republicans "obstructionists" for blocking legislation we Republicans don't believe in? Oh, I guess the Democrats' definition of "obstructionist" is "blocking anything they believe in." That's the problem with liberals. They think they're the only intelligent people on the planet. WRONG!

Posted by: georges2 | December 9, 2010 10:34 AM

I love all of these wonderful photographs of Nancy Pelosi without that stupid grin on her face. Not too happy now are you, Nancy?

Posted by: georges2 | December 9, 2010 10:30 AM

I started reading this and then realized it was not Mary McGregor: then I remembered she was deceased.

Never mind.

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | December 9, 2010 9:59 AM

START & DADT haev both been stalled by Republicans, who would rather play games than focus on any issues.

Posted by: jjj141 | December 9, 2010 9:40 AM

THEY SHOULDN"T LEAVE. I'd say they should not have a Christmas break. Maybe that will motivate the Republicans not to be such obstructionist jerks. I hope the Dems to the same thing they have done for two years. So they will realize that they do not get to do this without suffering some consquences. You teach people how to treat you, and the Rethuglicans will be bullies as they can get away with it and Obama shrivels up like a ball in the corner.

Posted by: jacquie1 | December 9, 2010 8:46 AM

The Democrats decided that budgets and spending authorizations were "too hard" during an election year. The election was more important than fulfilling their constitutional duty.

Criminal incompetence.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | December 9, 2010 8:36 AM

Of course they waited until after the mid-term elections to see which way the political wind was blowing - now it is "hurry up and wait" on too many bills.

Or could it be that the administration doesn't really want some bills to come to the floor? That way they can say "We ran out of time" instead of "We didn't have the votes and so didn't want to embarrass ourselves".

Posted by: Utahreb | December 9, 2010 7:42 AM

There is a lot to be said for one who states the obvious. But most of us can do that for ourselves. The only question would be to tell us when a budget bill came in on time. I do not remember it. Perhaps when Johnson was President.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 9, 2010 7:06 AM

The Republic is done; the plutocracy, the mediocrity, the reactionary destroyers lead the nation now! What arises is a Fascist like fearful nation addicted to unreality, ignorance, and religious pablum! Fighting foreign wars of hubris and avoidance; pretending greatness while decaying internally! A dangerous, cancerous nation with uncontrolled violence and the capacity to destroy wherever its fear-filled ignorance is directed! A planetary pestilence, virulent, and beyond any control but time... if we have it!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | December 9, 2010 7:04 AM

Because the Senate is run by an Republican from Nevada who can't get anything passed. And then of course, Obama took 14 vacations last year.

Posted by: Realitycheck6 | December 9, 2010 6:42 AM

if done at the last minute...
there is more pressure to pass them...
and if not passed...
good fodder for the elections...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 9, 2010 5:16 AM

These issues are simply irrelevant since I have explained to my three children that there will no Christmas presents this year.
We will have food on the table and hopefully sing Christmas carols as we read of the huge bonuses the Obama people have given to the most wealthy. How can these people sleep at night?????

Posted by: sarahannson | December 9, 2010 2:51 AM

This deal needs big log jam - right up the GOP's u-know-what - I am hoping that Sen Sanders is the log jam we need - this deals stinks!
Posted by: sux123 | December 8, 2010 5:02 PM
-------------------------------------------
Boy!! This is fun to watch. O'bama's getting raked, from both sides. One of his "loyal" followers, Anthony Weiner, has just said that O'bama can go from Zero, to compromise, in 3.5 seconds. Don't you just love to see a fight??
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | December 8, 2010 11:34 PM

This deal needs big log jam - right up the GOP's u-know-what - I am hoping that Sen Sanders is the log jam we need - this deals stinks!
Posted by: sux123 | December 8, 2010 5:02 PM
-------------------------------------------
Boy!! This is fun to watch. O'bama's getting raked, from both sides. One of his "loyal" followers, Anthony Weiner, has just said that O'bama can go from Zero, to compromise, in 3.5 seconds. Don't you just love to see a fight??
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | December 8, 2010 10:02 PM


▍★∴--------------------▍★Something unexpected surprise

welcome to: http://www.shoesforking.com/

The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike, jordan, prada, also including the jeans, shirts, bags, hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment., After the payment, can ship within short time.

3 free shipping

competitive price

any size available

accept the paypal

90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42 $$$$$$$

jordan shoes $ 32

90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42 $$$$$$$

nike shox $ 32

Christan Audigier bikini $ 23

Ed Hardy Bikini $ 23

Smful short_t-shirt_woman $ 15

ed hardy short_tank_woman $ 16

Sandal $ 32

christian louboutin $ 80

Sunglass $ 15

COACH_Necklace $ 27

handbag $ 33

AF tank woman $ 17

puma slipper woman $ 30

90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42 $$$$$$$

welcome to: http://www.shoesforking.com/

Believe you will love it.

▍★∴-----------------------▍★∴

Posted by: zhengee25 | December 8, 2010 9:53 PM

This deal needs big log jam - right up the GOP's u-know-what - I am hoping that Sen Sanders is the log jam we need - this deals stinks!
Posted by: sux123 | December 8, 2010 5:02 PM
-------------------------------------------
Boy!! This is fun to watch. O'bama's getting raked, from both sides. One of his "loyal" followers, Anthony Weiner, has just said that O'bama can go from Zero, to compromise, in 3.5 seconds. Don't you just love to see a fight??
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | December 8, 2010 9:35 PM

The Tax deal must be great if the radical Left doesn't like it!

As for the Start Treaty - it was ready for Senate approval last spring - so apparently it wasn't important enough to interrupt the silly Obama-Reid agenda and as a result we got incoherent healthcare and financial regulation legislation from those clowns.

sux123 ... LOL ... Sanders is almost totally irrelevant.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 8, 2010 6:46 PM

The Lib-Commies had TOTAL majority in the House & the Senate. They still FAILED.

All the billions of dollars from union, minority groups, and the failed Hippie Generation. FAILED

Failure for the Liberals is a victory for America.

Posted by: ANTILIB | December 8, 2010 6:04 PM

Don't hold your breath because it ain't over until it's over. Liberal Democrats are out to scuttle this tax package on the grounds it doesn't do enough for 99-week unemployed, or the elderly who haven't had a Social Security pay increase in two years.
Ideologues also are vowing to scuttle the package to save long-standing party issues, such as holding Social Security funds secure from raids for other purposes. The compromise plan to allow a two-year suspension of Social Security payments in worker paychecks violates this agreement. Also there is no official Congressional Budget scoring, which violates PayGo measures Democrats rallied behind.
All in all, these are enough issues to bring the compromise down. And with it, down comes the Start treaty, and DADT. This lame duck Congress is going to end with a filibuster, and some of us think that is a good thing.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | December 8, 2010 5:36 PM

This deal needs big log jam - right up the GOP's u-know-what - I am hoping that Sen Sanders is the log jam we need - this deals stinks!

Posted by: sux123 | December 8, 2010 5:02 PM

Post a Comment




characters remaining

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company