Guest Column: Who wants ‘Green Eggs and Ham’?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The following editorial appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday, Sept. 26:

The list of better things for the U.S. Senate to do than listen to Ted Cruz read “Green Eggs and Ham” has to be endless.

Even if there were a reasonable point behind the freshman Texas Republican monopolizing the Senate floor for more than 21 hours, the list of better things to do is long.

To name a few:

—If the subject must be the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), how about some serious solutions? It’s not like Republicans have no ideas, it’s just that people like Cruz seem to want to draw the focus elsewhere.

The Republican Study Committee, a group of House members from the GOP, has introduced a bill called the American Health Care Reform Act that fully repeals the Affordable Care Act, which Cruz says he wants. It would give tax deductions of $7,500 for individuals or $20,000 for families to buy their own health insurance.

The Senate could talk about an approach of its own.

—If the subject must be government spending, which the Senate finally took up after Cruz sat down, how about using 21 hours to talk about a long-term budget process that legitimately does away with the across-the-board, automatic cuts called sequestration?

Thoughtless sequestration is the very picture of government without a plan.

—Each minute that Cruz talked was a minute the Senate didn’t use to reach a resolution on the question of the government debt and the borrowing limit expected to be reached next month. Do these elected leaders really want to bring down that debt, or would they rather hear “Green Eggs and Ham” and continue to complain about the national debt being too high?

—Budget cutting was one of the stated goals last week when the House slashed $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years, which the Congressional Budget Office says would remove benefits for nearly 4 million people. Are senators going to be OK with that, or could they work for 21 hours trying to fix food stamps? If they made real progress, maybe they could even pass a farm bill this year.