End parking-meter federal budgeting

Much of the coverage over the government shutdown has failed to adequately address the harm that repeated short-term spending bills do to government operations.

Rather than finalize a bipartisan spending deal on defense and domestic priorities, congressional leaders have treated the federal government like a parking meter. They put in just enough money to get to the next deadline rather than provide the budget certainty that federal agencies need to plan transportation improvements, provide health care to veterans or manage our national parks.

And this uncertainty also makes it difficult for state and local governments to plan. Federal revenues provide nearly 40% of Montana state general revenues. Sen. Jon Tester is right to object to this irresponsible budgeting process and to demand that congressional leaders put forth the bipartisan deal to finalize the budget for the rest of the year.

— Timm Twardoski, executive director, AFSCME Montana Council 9