This week in Washington we saw two monumental reports come out, one in the form of a bill and the other a scathing report of a governmental organization. The bill, CRomnibus, saved the U.S. government from shutting down again for the second time in two years. The torture report exposed the CIA torture methods during the Bush administration, a policy that began a decade ago. Despite CRomnibus saving the government from a shutdown, the bill is overwhelmingly pro-business, and the torture report, without actual prosecutions of individuals, does nothing to reform a clandestine, governmental body that has consistently embarrassed the United States abroad for decades. These two developments, which have both conservatives and liberals upset, couldn’t be better indicators of how Washington hasn’t changed in recent years, and it is simply business as usual inside the beltway.
If average Americans can’t understand “Washington talk” then it’s time for them to stop talking.
When #CRomnibus started trending on Twitter this week and the term was being thrown around on news programs, many people, including myself, wanted to know what the heck it meant. I thought Mitt Romney was riding some sort of bus. But, the term itself, which was conjured up on Capitol Hill, couldn’t better epitomize the disconnection Washington has with the rest of the country. I will now have to define this term, which perfectly illustrates Congress’s inability to be transparent. If average Americans can’t understand “Washington talk” then it’s time for them to stop talking.
CRomnibus is a term that brings together two ideas. The “CR” stands for ‘continuing resolution’; this is the way Congress continues to fund the government when a deal can’t be reached. Omnibus refers to an ‘omnibus bill’ which is how Congress funds the government when things are running normally. In layman’s terms, this term indicates that the government will continue to be funded but not exactly on a normal basis. It’s a resolution, or rather a compromise.