Big spending looms in lame duck

After another election cycle, Congress is back with a full plate. Government funding runs out on December 7, and lawmakers have to pass either seven unfinished appropriations bills or another continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.

However, some big ticket items are also looming. They include Hurricane Michael relief, National Flood Insurance Program re-authorization, and a potential “fix” for Medicare’s complicated “donut hole” problem.

Meanwhile, as Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives, a plan is advancing that will move Congress toward some form of budget process reform, though it remains to be seen exactly how far-reaching that plan will be.

As reports last week highlighted, growing mandatory liabilities put the US on a collision course. Soon, our nation will be spending more on debt service than on Defense within short order.

The lame duck Congress is as unlikely to solve all of these issues as the new Congress will be, unless taxpayers can change the incentive structure that lets spending be everyone’s last priority.¬†Achieving this goal is truly the cause of our generation — now more than ever.