Shutdown Countdown … Again: Government Temper Tantrum Proves GOP Has Finally Lost It
Estee Shaw | On 30, Sep 2013
It’s that time again! Remember last time the US government was angst-ing about passing a budget that both sides could agree on? It was all over tv screens, splashed across the news, as the government played a rousing game of chicken with our bills.
There has been a flurry of activity recently as elected officials, once again, bring political dysfunction to the forefront with the spending bill.
This time, House Speaker and Republican leader John Boehner and his cronies have made it their mission to push the Affordable Care Act back until January 2015 by tying amendments regarding the ACA, taxes, and a pesky conscience clause that would allow for providers to opt out of covering birth control, into the spending bill that we need to pass to pay our bills and keep the government running.
There’s a lot going on, so here’s the breakdown:
Republican House leaders met on Friday to talk strategy about their budget fight. They proposed a bill that included the required government spending for the next year, but would also would delay implementing the Affordable Care Act, along with what has been called a “grab bag of Republican initiatives”.
All of these measures were securely tied to the budget issue, effectively raising the stakes on the vote and ensuring that it wouldn’t pass the Senate. Before House Republicans had time to wipe the collective smirks from their faces, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came out with a statement reiterating that the Senate had no interest in addressing GoP complaints about the ACA through the spending bill.
The likely plan, as of now, will have the Senate sending a “clean” bill back to the House,in response to the spending bill, and all of its attached glory, that was passed Saturday night. This “clean” version will be free of the Republican attachments that are meant to, if not do away with entirely, at least push back the ACA, and declare a victory. At that point, Boehner and Co. can either pass the clean bill with a Democrat majority, or send another version back to the Senate with their attachments as the clock winds down on the time frame in which legislation can be passed to avoid the shutdown.
It bears considering, at what cost would this hypothetical victory come for Republicans?
John Boehner has already proven himself an ineffective leader in a House that not only walks all over him, but forces him to lead his party in a direction that’s bizarrely out of touch with the American people. Judging by the outrage over what happened last time with the debt ceiling, the American people aren’t impressed with the House holding the spending bill hostage in an attempt to get what they want.
The truth is, defaulting on our bills will not only impact government workers, including soldiers, but force widespread shutdowns across the country. On top of all that, if the House listens to Tea Party affiliates who have insisted that a shutdown would be better than allowing the ACA to go forward as planned, we’re risking a shock to the global economy. I would think that’s something that all of us collectively do not want, but far be it from me to assert logic into anything the GoP does.
Aside from concerns about the Republican party taking into account what’s best for our country, it’s also curious that they’re refusing to back down on their shots at the ACA. By now I think we’re all aware that they are willing to go after the Affordable Care Act to please their base and enjoy what they would call a failure on the president’s part. But after the last election, the Republican party seemed to catch on to the fact that they desperately need to go through the process of rebranding, if for no other reason that securing votes that they missed out on in a big way in 2012.
(Remember “binders full of women”? I do.)
Playing with the spending bill, effectively throwing themselves on the floor for a red-faced tantrum, hasn’t helped their reputation in the past. And when we’re so close to gearing up for 2016, it begs the question,
Is the single-minded goal to thwart President Obama’s Affordable Care Act worth what they’re putting the country, and their party, through?
Sound off, readers!
Written by Estee Shaw
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