Editorial: Taking a win from Congress where we can

Mar. 21, 2013 @ 07:58 PM

Finally, Congress gives us a little something to cheer about.

But just a little, like one of those hoop shots that smacks sloppily on the rim, bounces around like it might topple out and then finally plops into the net.

On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans came together in the spirit of bipartisanship (and probably no small amount of professional self-interest) and passed a short-term budget bill to keep the government from shutting down in six days.

Basically, we’re paid up to September. So, when March Madness is just a fevered memory and everybody’s gearing up for football, it remains to be seen whether this mood of togetherness holds out.

We’ve got our doubts.

“It’s a good day for the American people,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters after the bill was approved.

Well. It’s a day for the American people, that much is true. We probably can’t call it a “good” day until the two parties in Congress find agreement with President Barack Obama on a full-fledged budget plan that doesn’t just provide a temporary fix to an ongoing problem.

And how likely is that? How probable is it that we’ll see a sensible compromise among our leaders in Washington, D.C., that pays our bills without hurting the poor, shafting our students, short-changing our veterans and seniors or crippling environmental standards?

Seems like a long shot to us.

House Republicans passed their controversial budget proposal, which would overhaul Medicare, repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act and balance the budget over 10 years. Democrats plan to pass their own approach in the Senate, which would repeal the sequester and aim for $1.85 trillion in savings through a combination of spending cuts and increased tax revenues.

Hard to see the middle ground here, really.

Lawmakers in Washington are taking two weeks off, and then it’s back to hammering away at each other’s plans as a new clock ticks down.

For now, at least, we can happily worry more about our collapsing brackets than a crippled federal government.

It wasn’t exactly a buzzer beater worthy of the season, but we’ll take it.