Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

It is a Sunday afternoon and I am sitting at my desk in the office and working: yes working on a Sunday: on god’s day of rest. We were supposed to come into the office over the weekend, but later there was an e-mail sent out saying that we did not have to show up. I did not get the e-mail, so here I am. But I am not complaining. It is very quiet here, and the condition is just right to do some work. Now I can write this blog entry and finish up my roundtable plan for Monday.

Today I did some research for my supervisor on the latest debt ceiling plan. It is Sunday July 31st and it looks like there might be an eleventh hour plan out there. We do not know the details, as it is still being negotiated, but there are lot of sound bites, speculations, and roomers out there. So we have been scrambling and trying to piece it all together and figure out what might be the final agreement. The Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell along with the speaker of the House John Boehner, have come to an agreement with President Obama on a debt ceiling plan. It looks like it would include increasing the debt ceiling and cutting spending without generating new revenue. It is a two-step process that would immediately increase the debt ceiling by one trillion dollars, while cutting spending by the same amount. It would also form a bipartisan super-committee of members of Congress that would come up with additional 1.8 trillion dollars in spending cuts and increase the debt ceiling by an additional 1.4-2 trillion dollars by Thanks Giving. The agreement would include a trigger mechanism that would automatically cut spending from Defense and Medicare, if congress could not come up with additional spending cuts. Later congress would pass a Balanced Budget Amendment by a super majority or 38 of the states would adopt a balanced budget amendment. The deal is very complicated and we do not yet know all the details. So do not get too excited, because as they say, the devil is in the details.

This week has been hectic because of the debt ceiling issue, and I have been answering the phones for the first time. That has been the hardest part. Now I can confidently say that I have seen it all. I have been complemented, I have been cursed, I have been hung up on, and I have been told that I should be fired. Never mind the fact that I have no control around here, that I am not paid so that I cannot be fired, and that I cannot respond to people’s complaints with my own thoughts..

As I get near to the end of my internship I am both sad and excited. I am sad that I will have to leave Washington DC and end my internship, but on the other hand, I am excited to go back to my own place in Colorado and start school again. This internship has been a great experience and I am very much thankful for it, and to all the people that made it happen: that includes my supervisor, all the people in my office and all the AAPD staff and sponsors.

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