One day after the US Senate voted to move the continuing resolution to fund the government along, which party would really be responsible for shutting down the government if it isn’t passed? Would it the Republicans or the Democrats? According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) and the left leaning mainstream media, it would be the Republicans. But is that true?
The version of the bill passed by the House funds all of the government except for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. What this mean is if the bill passes as it is written the government won’t shut down, only Obamacare won’t be funded. Since it is the Democrats who don’t want to pass the bill wouldn’t it be safe to say it is the Democrats who want to shut down the government? They could pass the continuing resolution and the government would go on.
This is just another case of the current dysfunction in the US Senate. This goes back even further than the Obamacare question, since the US Senate hasn’t passed a budget since 2009, the year President Barack Obama took office. The Republican controlled House has passed budgets, and the Senate has rejected them. The Senate is controlled by the democrats and Harry Reid.
We now govern by crisis. Instead of working on the budget months before the old one expires and the government would have to shut down, shouldn’t we begin working on the budget in January which at least in theory, would give Congress plenty of time to work out their differences? It certainly can be argued this is the problem with our government today. We have Senators and Congressmen, both Republicans and Democrats, spend all their time raising funds to get reelected and gaining more power instead of doing the job they were elected to do.
It would be the democrats in the US Senate who are to blame for this current crisis and the possible shut down of the government. They could simply pass the House version of the continuing resolution, not funding Obamacare and then work on the problems in the Affordable Care Act. Many in both parties agree there are problems with the ACA which need to be worked out before it is implemented. These problems need to be addressed before they cannot be undone. As history has shown us once a program is in place, it will not be changed.
Both parties are to blame for getting the country into this situation in the first place. There is no reason to wait until two weeks before the government would shut down to pass a budget. Senate republicans could have insisted that the budgets the House passed be brought up for votes well before this. Instead of finger pointing, both parties could truly work together by acting like adults instead of children.
Finally, it is also the voters of the United States who are to blame for this crisis. It is the voters who continue to not hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions. They reelect the same people election after election even though they get nothing done. Whether it is John McCain (R – AZ) or Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi (D – CA) or John Boehner (R – OH) if the voters feel they are not doing their jobs they should hold them accountable by voting them out.
The bad news? We get to go through all of this again in the next few weeks with the debt ceiling crisis.
An Op-Ed by Paul Roy
Sources: ABC News