Editorial: Step taken, and pattern is desired

Jan. 14, 2014 @ 11:36 PM

Her excitement was understandable. But we’ll opt for perspective, more judgment after this week’s decision and await a better sample size showing pattern.

Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat and Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman, said shutdown, slowdown, slamdown politics are over. That was Monday evening after a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill was explained, outlining operations of government through October.

The bill might pass the House today, the Senate on or before Saturday. Republicans had promised a 72-hour review period when they took over the House in 2010. The bill is 1,582 pages.

Of course, as we know, Congress often passes bills without reading them.

Mikulski also said it shows Congress can compromise and govern. That she even had to make such a statement testifies to where political parties have driven us.

But she’s also correct. The bill is about compromise with no clear winner or loser on either side; rather, plenty of both on each side.

Amid the “what took you so long?” questions is one graciously welcome answer to North Carolina.

The Pentagon got its request for ships, aircraft, tanks, helicopters and other war-fighting equipment. That would include the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, V-22 Ospreys and new and improved F-18 fighters.

North Carolina employs about 20,000 civilians at Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and New River Marine bases. Cherry Point’s Fleet Readiness Center East will be a major maintenance depot for the new F35-B Lightning II aircraft.

The new jet is our country’s future in air superiority, slated to replace aging AV-8B Harriers, the F/A-18 Hornets and the E/A-6B Prowlers that are part of the fixed-wing aircraft of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

And Cherry Point and FRC East alone are a $2.1 billion economic impact to our state. The political haggles in Raleigh notwithstanding, federal decisions on our state remaining military-friendly are always pivotal to the economic well-being between Murphy and Manteo.

The White House says the budget process is closer to regular order. We’ll agree when the bill is passed. We expect opposition, although likely not enough.

But we’ll also call on Congress to prove Mikulski’s point by establishing a pattern. Across the country, we sent them to Washington with a single task: take care of us. This is a good step.