The eternally optimistic Senator Tim Kaine (Virginia) is…optimistic that a last-minute deal to avoid the looming sequestration can and will be reached before the budgetary axe is scheduled to fall on March 1.
After his tour in Richmond on Friday of McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kaine said, “I’m optimistic. It might happen or not, but I am working on a compromise.” Kaine added that compromise would have to begin in the Senate in order to “put enormous pressure on the House” to go along with a compromise to upcoming across-the-board discretionary cuts.
Kaine’s optimism makes him an oddity among his fellow legislators in the U.S. Congress and the American people more generally. From everything that has been read, seen, and heard, both political parties are more than willing and ready to play chicken with America’s economy for what each hopes to be political gain.
Kaine’s willingness to see past the partisan hoopla is probably one of the biggest contributing factors to his victory over George Allen, and it’s encouraging to see that Sen. Kaine was serious about his efforts to work across the political aisles for the greater good of the country as a whole.
According to a letter written by Gov. Bob McDonnell to President Obama last week, Virginia could lose 82,000 ‘direct’ jobs and an additional 82,000 ‘indirect’ jobs if the sequestration is allowed to occur.
Thus, over 100,000 Virginians could lose their jobs if the sequestration occurs, a truly unfathomable number considering the self-inflicted nature of these job losses.
Thus, Tim Kaine’s style of legislative leadership couldn’t come at a better time for the country. For the sake of America’s economy and those who WILL lose their jobs, let’s all hope Sen. Kaine’s optimism is more than wishful thinking.