Frank Bow of Ohio
Frank Bow of Ohio
By Lou Frey Jr., Member of Congress (FL –’69-’79)
The first time I ran into what could be called sequestration was in the late 1960’s when a senior Republican congressman from Ohio, Frank Bow, proposed 5 percent cuts in most appropriation bills. As you know, under the Constitution, it is up to the House to initiate appropriation bills.
I believe I voted several times for the Bow amendment knowing that it wouldn’t pass, but also knowing that we could at least put some pressure on controlling our spending. One of the arguments that would take place is that the amount of cuts weren’t necessarily bad but doing them on an across the board basis could hurt a lot of good programs.
If we can shift to today’s issue there is not much that is different. The Congress ended up passing legislation which would require cuts that the Republicans do not want in the defense budget and cuts that the Democrats do not want involving older people, health care, etc.
Congress doesn’t seem to be as upset about the amount of the cuts, but as to what programs the cuts could hurt. Let me give you an example. Assume that there is a relatively small company providing high tech batteries to the new F-22 fighter. Without these batteries the airplane cannot fly, hurting our national defense. There are other cuts in defense that would not hurt as much.
It may be possible to give the Defense Department more discretion over where the cuts should come. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) was quoted as saying: “These spending cuts are going to occur and they should occur but they should be done in a right way instead of the wrong way.” Frank Bow, if he was with us, would be the first one agreeing with Senator Blunt. We will see in a very few days if common sense prevails.
Finally, March 27th, is the date when the Continuing Resolution (CR) keeping the government funded expires. The CR needs to be extended or we will have a shutdown of government services.
Editor’s Note: Lase week’s Rotary Civics Bowl was a great success. Glenridge Middle School took the Low Frey Civics Trophy again, but Maitland Middle School vows to win it next year.