There is little doubt in my mind that a government shutdown is eminent. This means anyone who gets a paycheck from the federal government will be either forced to work without pay or forced into furlough status (stay home and not get paid).
Including the military the government employs 4.4 million workers (OPM). Every one of those people will not be getting paid for work on beginning on Tuesday.
Obviously not all jobs are able to just close up shop. These are called essential employees. They could be FBI investigators, Air Traffic Controllers from the Department of Transportation, Secret Service, US Marshalls, some of the people from the Social Security Administrations, and our US Military. All of these people must go to work, do their normal jobs, but will not get paid for their time.
All of them except the military. This is another reason that people are really thinking that the GOP is going to push us over the edge. Late during the night on Friday night the US House passed the “Pay Our Military Act” by a unanimous 423-0. There is no doubt that the military is special. They are spread out around the world and they cannot just stay home if the government shuts down. Not to mention that over 5000 military families receive SNAP (food stamps) from the government on top of their pay. The SNAP program was recently gutted during the Farm Bill debate.
Many people agree we should be paying the military in the event of a shutdown but what about the other essential government employees. Those employees who still have to go to work but will not get paid. What about their families? Why is it ok to continue to pay the military personnel, but not the essential employees? Better yet, pay everyone and don’t shut the government down.
“I think they’re showing their hand, and it’s unfortunate, because it’s not just our military personnel who will be hurt by the government shutdown,” said Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., at a news conference after the meeting’s conclusion. “The shameful part of it is that Republicans are essentially telegraphing that they intend to shut down the government, and the only folks they are going to worry about, with the government shutdown, are the military personnel.”
Once again the House passed another Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded, with a short list of demands. Not only did they pass a delay (or repeal) of the Affordable Care Act (43rd time) they added in some other stuff they know they would have no other chance to get passed.
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter stated in a recent press release;
“House Republicans have voted 43 times to obstruct a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the President, upheld by the Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the 2012 election. It doesn’t matter what party or state you represent, holding vital government functions hostage in order to wage an ideological crusade is irresponsible and unacceptable. These Tea Party tactics hurt our recovering economy and harm working families, seniors, and veterans.”
The GOP in the house who are debating how they are going to fund the government, are proposing that the ‘Medical Device Tax’ be removed. You got it, they are saying, ‘we cannot pay our bills so lets stop bringing in revenue as well.’
Of course that is not all. The House GOP is also pushing their anti-women ideology in this Continuing Resolution.
Roll Call reports, “House leaders made the bill even more unpalatable to Senate Democrats by including a “conscience clause” allowing employers and insurers to opt out of providing coverage for contraception if they have moral or religious objections.”
Seriously I cannot make this stuff up. The House is pushing to roll back women’s health in a government funding bill. Talk about earmarks!
Both sides are saying they do not want a shutdown. NH Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s released this statement:
“By refusing to vote on the Senate-passed bill to keep the government open, House Republicans are choosing to shut down the government — plain and simple. This is not what responsible governing looks like. With a costly shutdown just two days away, we don’t have time for more pointless political theater. We need to pass a responsible bill that will keep our government running, our economy growing, and our families and businesses secure. My colleagues across the aisle need to stop putting ideology ahead of common sense and focus on having a rational debate about how to responsibly reduce the deficit, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class. The last thing our economy can afford right now is another manufactured crisis from Washington.”
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter also had a few other things to say about the Continuing resolution:
“Today, House Speaker John Boehner took one big step toward total surrender to the Tea Party and one giant leap toward shutting down the government. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to reject the most extreme flank of the Republican Party and work across the aisle to keep the government running.”
“I am willing to work with anyone to improve the Affordable Care Act, but changes to the health care law should be debated through an open legislative process, not through a hostage-taking stunt.”
It is strange that the only option that the GOP is offering in reference to the ACA is a repeal/defunding. Not one of them has offered any suggestions as to how to fix any of the problems they have found. Not one of them has attempted to make changes to the law to improve it only destroy it. Jon Favreau, former chief speechwriter for President Obama wrote this in the Daily Beast.
“If Republicans are so confident Obamacare will end badly, why not just shut up about it? It’s not like they have the votes to repeal the law—a math problem they still haven’t solved after 37 different tries. Their appeal to the Supreme Court ended in defeat at the hands of a conservative chief justice. And now the bulk of the plan will begin to take effect in just a few months.
At this point, why not sit back and wait for this crazy experiment to self-destruct? Why not let President Obama and the Democrats reckon with the millions of angry Americans who will undoubtedly hate their new insurance or their new insurance protections?
Because Republicans are terrified that Obamacare could actually work.”
Favreau is right. If the program is so bad, then stop trying to block it. The GOP should be encouraging its implementation, just to watch it self-destruct.
Only 24 hours till the potential government shutdown. And only two weeks until we reach the ‘debt ceiling’. That is going to be much worse and more dangerous than a government shutdown.