This is just one example, but of course there are zillions. Richard Shelby, Senator from Alabama, has put a blanket hold on 70 Obama nominees. Not because he has any concerns about those nominees, but because he is pouting that funds haven’t been released to build an FBI explosives center in Alabama and because he thinks the Air Force tanker procurement system isn’t fair to Northrup Grumman, which has facilities in Alabama. So let’s be clear: despite the massive deficit, Senator Shelby wants pork for his district, and he is willing to let all sorts of government agencies go unmanned until he gets his way.
And let me remind you that Alabama has 4.7 million people, or 1.7% of the US population. So one guy, representing 2% of the population, can put big chunks of government on hold until he gets his share of wasteful spending. And then he will give speeches about the importance of fiscal discipline. This is why polls show that Americans no longer respect Congress.