As the US government shutdown goes into its second week, MoveOn polls suggest that refusal to pass the Affordable Care Act could cause the Republican Party to lose its control of the House of Representatives. The government shutdown, simultaneously being referred to as the “Republican Shutdown” and the “Democrat Shutdown” by partisan Party members and supporters, began last week as House GOPs refused to support the ObamaCare bill. Members of the Republican Party believe that President Obama and the Democratic Party have drafted health care spending bills that are irresponsible in terms of the federal budget. In an attempt to block this spending, the House Republican majority refused to vote in favor of the bill, while Democrats refused to accept the proposed GOP modifications.
An excerpt from the MoveOn press release indicates the perilous position that House Republicans are now facing due to the continued standoff with House Democrats:
“Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of the House. These poll results make clear that if the election were held today, such a pickup would be well within reach.”
With the government at a standstill, open health insurance enrollment nevertheless rolled out this week, and government employees, some not currently being paid, were on-site to deal with a possible security threat at the White House and the Capitol building. Administrators at MoveOn took the opportunity to conduct 24 separate surveys in districts represented by Republicans. The results of the polls have shown impatience among Americans who believe their government should be in session and doing its job. Survey organizers have concluded that if an election were held today instead of in 2014, the House of Representatives would be ruled by a Democrat majority.
House Speaker John Boehner continues to deny support for the bill even after the United States has spent a week without a fully-functioning federal government. Boehner, the leader of the Republican shutout on the Affordable Care Act bill, says “there are not votes in the House to pass a clean [funding measure.] We are not going to pass a clean debt limit. … The votes are not in the House. … We are not going down that path.” With the House of Representatives still at a standstill, there is no end yet in sight for the government shutdown.
Even staunch Republicans are growing weary of the debate, as more reasons to continue the stalemate are thrown into the mix. Republican Senator Ted Cruz has now stated that he will not fold on the federal budget because of a looming debt ceiling. He told reporters that the debt ceiling has been used successfully as a bargaining chip throughout the history of the United States government, and that he expects this tactic to work in his favor. Cruz says “what the American people want is to open the government and stop the harms from Obamacare,” however MoveOn polls clearly show that the Republican Party could stand to lose the House altogether.
Written by Mandy Gardner