Categorized | National, Politics

Fingerpointing Towards a Government Shutdown

 

Each Side of Congress Blames the Other for Budget Gridlock

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Washington DCThe first government shutdown in 17 years is
looming by midnight.  What happens next is anyone’s guess.

Hundreds of thousands of US government workers came to work Monday without knowing whether they will be needed on Tuesday, as federal agencies faced a devastating shutdown.

Lawmakers in the bitterly divided Congress had only a few hours left to pass a stopgap budget measure and to beat the midnight deadline, but there was little sign of compromise amidst the gridlock.

President Barack Obama has warned that a freeze in non-essential federal spending could have catastrophic effects on the shaky economic recovery, and cost thousands of jobs.  But Congressional leaders have been unable to wrangle a compromise from feuding clans of lawmakers, arguing instead over who takes the blame for the first shutdown in 17 years.

If the deadline expires without a deal the failure will have a global impact.  Oil prices slid and European and Asian shares fell, amid fears for the world’s largest economy.

And, at a more domestic level, as the Washington day began staff at federal agencies were warned that their children would not be able to attend government daycare centers on Tuesday.

Some members of Congress tried to put a brave face on the impasse with 15 hours left to thrash out an improbable compromise between the Republican-led House and Democratic Senate.  But most observers agreed the moves were dead in the water when Republicans linked budget legislation to a bid to thwart Obama’s health care law.

After the Senate passed a straightforward spending bill on Friday, the House countered by attaching amendments seeking a one-year delay to Obamacare and the repeal of a medical device tax which helps fund the law.

As legislators try to stave off a shutdown, a few unlikely options have emerged.  

House Republicans could pass a short-term measure to finance the government that does not include any of their health care delays, in order to buy more time to come up with another plan.  Or House Republicans could force a repeal of the tax on medical devices in exchange for the House’s not sending over a bill that would require members of Congress and their staffs to buy their health insurance on the new exchanges, without any government subsidies.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who refused to call the
chamber into session over the weekend despite the looming deadline, warned that this would not stand. 

“The Senate will do exactly what we said we would do and reject these measures,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said.

“At that point, Republicans will be faced with the same choice they have always faced: put the Senate’s clean funding bill on the floor and let it pass with bipartisan votes, or force a Republican government shutdown.”

As lawmakers traded blame, the Democratic leadership sounded resigned about a pending shutdown.  Asked if he believed government would shutter on Tuesday, Reid’s number two man, Senator Dick Durbin, said:  ”I’m afraid I do.”

Republican House Speaker John Boehner has been under intense pressure from a small band of conservative diehards who forced the party to double down on their anti-Obamacare strategy.

With polls showing most voters would blame a shutdown on the Republicans rather than Obama, Reid insisted:  “The American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists.”

But Boehner branded the brinksmanship “an act of breathtaking arrogance by the Senate Democratic leadership.”

Some Asian markets fell sharply, and Europe followed suit, albeit in part because of fears for the political crisis in Italy.  Oil prices were also down, and analysts said traders were following the situation in the United States closely.

“Things are far from the ‘panic stage’, but they don’t have to be for investors to be spooked by the apparent intractability of the US political deadlock,” said Tachibana Securities market analyst Kenichi Hirano.

US and foreign investors fear a shutdown will create a poisonous environment ahead of mid-October talks to increase the amount of money the country is authorized to borrow.

If the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling is not raised, Washington could run out of cash and default on its loan payments.  Republicans have already warned they will make this costly maneuver their next battlefield.

 (Via Yahoo News)

* * * * * * * *

Yeah, we get it

A $16.7 trillion dollar debt ceiling is a lot of money and the Republicans are holding firm.  And let’s face it, they absolutely hate—no, loathe—President Obama and everything he represents, choosing to be obstructionist at every turn.

Let’s face something else:  Republicans were within their rights to oppose the law while Congress was debating it, but fighting it three years after it was enacted, and more than a year after the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, is extreme and dangerous.  

The end result is this: Republicans are sabotaging and trying to nullify a democratically passed law.

Congress has two jobs to do:  Pay the bills on time, and pass a budget on time.  They should do just that because, unless they’ve forgotten, that’s what they get paid to do.

If we’re really going to shut down the government, let’s shut the whole damned thing down, starting with Congress.

 

We appreciate you following us
on Twitter and Facebook and
sharing the Humboldt Sentinel 
with others.

One Response to “Fingerpointing Towards a Government Shutdown”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] mood was grim at the Capitol Monday as Democrats and Republicans couldn’t get it together for the good of the nation.  Congress, and the government, needed to act because there was no authorization for the [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • One in five American kids on food stamps
    Huffington Post - One in 5 American kids got food stamps in 2014, up from 1 in 8 before the recession. About 16 million kids relied on the U.S. government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2014, according to Census Bureau data released Wednesday, up from 15.6 million a year earlier. In 2007, before the start of the Great Recession, that fig […]
  • Bottom 60% of households lost 14% of their wealth from 1983 to 2013
    Vox […]
  • Employee healthcare deductibles rising
    […]
  • People Republicans don't like
    Over the past few years, we have accumulated a list of groups of people that leading GOP figures have criticized.  Basically, if you're not a white male conservative, they don't like you. 9/11 responders AARP Americorps Bicyclists and bikes Black men Census Children with pre-existing health conditions College graduates College students Consumers Co […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    “The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed over an email that referred to a Seward home inspector as a ‘total idiot.'”How to leak to the Intercept The University of Michigan Library, the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and ProQuest have made public more than 25,000 manually transcribed texts from 1473-17 […]
  • Madison to fund $5 million in co-op development
    Portside - It started with a conversation.Kevin Gundlach, president of the South Central Federation of Labor in Madison, WI, had heard about Spain’s Mondragon cooperative complex and their union cooperatives in the U.S. He researched how labor could support cooperative development in this country. During his research, Gundlach read about the city of New York […]
  • More mysterious banker deaths
    Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge -  Following the deaths of 36 bankers last year, 2015 has got off to an inauspicious start with the reported suicide of Chris Van Eeghen - the 4th [Dutch] ABN Amro banker suicide in the last few years. As Quotenet reports, the death of Van Eghen  - the head of ABN's corporate finance and capital markets -"startled" fri […]
  • The sorry state of retirement
    Pensions & investments - More than half of all American households do not have enough put away for retirement, and the problem is getting worse, said new research from the Center for American Progress.Along with tracking what people are putting away for retirement, the researchers looked at dozens of studies by government, academic and private-sector org […]
  • The role of oil in foreign interventions
    Washington's Blog -The Independent reports that a new study conducted in the Universities of Portsmouth, Warwick and Essex, and published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, finds that “hydrocarbons play an even bigger role in conflicts” than “conspiracy theorists” ever imagined.…foreign intervention in a civil war is 100 times more likely when the a […]
  • CIA regularly leaks stories to media, the diference was the Sterling's was true
    Global Research -  A former CIA employee, Jeffrey Sterling, was convicted of giving classified information to a New York Times reporter. The leak concerned an effort by the CIA to sabotage plans for an Iranian nuclear reactor.“The disclosures placed lives at risk,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “And they constituted an egregious breach of the public tru […]
  • The rocket docket that convicted Jeffrey Sterling
    Norman Solomon, Huffington Post, Jan 15 -  When the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling got underway Tuesday in Northern Virginia [home of the CIA], prospective jurors made routine references to "three-letter agencies" and alphabet-soup categories of security clearances. In an area where vast partnerships between intelligence agencies and […]
  • Canada spying on millions of downoads
    Intercept - Canada’s leading surveillance agency is monitoring millions of Internet users’ downloading habits in a dragnet search to identify extremists, according to top-secret documents.The covert operation, revealed by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, taps into Internet cables and analyzes records of up to 15 million downloads daily from more […]
  • War on drugs links
    Drug news Marijuana news Statistics Pot quotes and facts The story the media won't touch Before the drug war Why do we have a drug war, anyway? The contras and cocaine The CIA: Perhaps our biggest drug dealer Groups Drug Policy Alliance National Drug Strategy Alliance NORML Students for a Sensible Drug Policy […]
  • Word
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. - EB White […]
  • Backing off of hate
    From our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2006 - When a situation such as the one created by the anti-Muslims cartoons and their reaction, the tendency for all parties is to seek ever higher ground of self-righteousness – all the time exacerbating the situation. The fact is that the biggest danger to the world at the moment comes from the conflicting certaint […]