The Republican Party is refusing to budge on the continuing resolution although it looks like it is the Democrats who have decided to shut down the government as they rejected the latest bill the House submitted. The Senate voted to strip the provisions the Republican Party put into the continuing resolution; one putting a moratorium on the start of Obamacare, the other stripping the medical device tax. The vote was 54 – 46 to strip the provisions from the bill.
Of course the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for shutting down the government when it should be obvious it is the other way around. The Senate didn’t even convene until after noon time today, intentionally delaying a vote. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, (R – OH) had this to say, “The Senate decided not to work yesterday. Well, my goodness, if there’s such an emergency, where are they?” Boehner is referring to how the different Democratic senators keep saying “we are in the middle of an emergency.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R- TX) who talked for 21 hours in the Senate earlier this week, made this comment, “The House has twice now voted to keep the government open. And if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the Senate comes back, (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid says, ‘I refuse to even talk.’”
The shutdown is scheduled to begin at midnight EST. What will happen if there is a shutdown? First, all non-essential government workers will be asked to stay home. National parks will be closed as well as any other federally staffed institutions such as the Smithsonian. There will be no interruption with the Post Office, military or air traffic controllers, however. Also, Social Security and Medicare checks will still be processed and mailed and such things as food inspections and border patrols will continue. Many departments will have some funds to run for a couple of days. One of the hardest hit areas could be the District of Columbia as they rely on appropriations from Congress to operate. During the last two shutdowns the trash wasn’t picked up and city departments closed.
As far as President Obama goes, he said that we need to set aside “short term politics.” He also said, “We certainly don’t allow domestic policy differences on issues that are unrelated to the budget to endanger not only our economy but the world economy.” The jury is still out on whether Obamacare will help or hurt the economy.
It isn’t likely a shutdown will be averted now. The House will need to once again review the changes the Senate made and then send the bill back. It appears right now that there is an expensive game of chicken going on between the House and Senate and the Republican Party and the Democrats. Who will win remains to be seen. In the meantime, there are about 800,000 federal workers who will be affected.
Until then, unless the Republican Party decides to budge, the blame game will likely continue with Congress doing what it does best… nothing.
Written by: Paul Roy