As the shutdown ended sand the debt ceiling was raised, America managed to avoid a complete meltdown (at least for now). That does not mean that the country came out of this scratch free. For one, the shutdown cost the government an estimated $160 million a day. If the shutdown ends by midnight on October 17, 2013, the total cost will be an estimated $2.4 billion. That does not include how much money the economy lost due to 800,000+ federal workers and countless contractors not receiving a paycheck, thus losing virtually all of their purchasing power. Also harmed will be the full faith and credit of the United States, as Fitch Ratings is considering another downgrade, and rightfully so. With our political instability, it is hard to have faith in a system that may come to a complete halt at any given moment.
The political cost to the Republican and Democratic Parties are yet to be seen, however, if the poll numbers are an indication, the Republicans will be the clear losers in the shutdown.
To start with, the Republican Party is taking the blame for the shutdown from both sides of the aisle. 62% of those asked put blame squarely on the Republican Party. In a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, among moderates, 80% disapproved of the GOP. President Obama’s approval rating stayed nearly the same since taking office in 2008 at 42%.
In the coming weeks, the GOP approval rating can be expected to plummet even more. It looks as if the Republican Party will get absolutely nothing from their temper tantrum. They received no delay or removal of the Medical Device Tax. They received no delay or defunding of ObamaCare. They received no tax breaks. It is unclear if the sequestration cuts will continue, however, early talk from Democrats indicated they may be off of the table. If Majority Leader and Senate Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came to an agreement, however, it is likely the cuts will continue. Despite that, it was not anything that was not already on the table.
When all is said and done, the harm caused to the government and citizens will be for nothing. Considering the plan that will be passed will be the same one that was on the table for weeks before the shutdown began, the public will cast judgement harshly.
What’s more, as the entire “reason” for the shutdown, ObamaCare, continues to roll out and sign up more people, the approval of the program will increase, as already has been seen. Many who were afraid of the program, are coming to realize they were lied to, and they can actually save money compared to their current premium, or sign up because they can now afford healthcare.
The biggest story that went relatively unnoticed, was what Representative Eric Cantor did just a few hours before the shutdown was set to begin, thus removing any doubt who was responsible.
There are enough votes in the House to pass the Senate’s “clean” bill to fund government – and this already represents Democrats being willing to compromise to accept the GOP’s post-sequester funding levels for the short term. It would have easily passed the House with a bipartisan majority – had the House Republican leadership brought it to the floor for a simple up-or-down vote. But House Republicans – many of whom have long had the goal of shutting down the government – effectively wrote the shutdown into law with just hours left on the clock.
If that sounds unbelievable and outrageous, it’s because it is.
The chairman of the House rules committee conceded that, under normal procedure with clause 4 of rule 22, if the House amends a Senate bill and the Senate rejects the House’s amendment(s), any House member has the right to bring the original Senate bill up for an immediate up-or-down vote in the House. But just two hours before the government was poised to shut down, House Republicans quietly rigged the rules in their favor. They changed that rule to ensure that only Republican majority leader Eric Cantor could bring the Senate bill to reopen the government up for a vote – something they have refused to do.
Now, if that is not offensive enough, what is even more offensive is who signed on with Representative Cantor, and it was not just Republicans.
7 Democrats decided to become turncoats, and betray the Democratic Party by aligning with the Republican Party on a bill that would prevent the government from reopening by anybody but Eric Cantor. They include the following:
Ron Barber (AZ-2)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
Jim Matheson (UT-4)
Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
Collin Peterson (MN-7)
SPREAD THEIR SHAME.
In a time when Democrats were by and large united against Republican efforts to destroy America, these 7 “Democrats” betrayed the people. Now that they have been called out, they have been Tweeting trying to cover their tracks.
For example, Rep. Jim Matheson tweeted, “If up for a vote, I’d support a clean CR. While current discussions are on a 6 wk proposal, I believe we need a long term solution.”
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney tweeted, “I joined my colleagues on the House Floor to demand a vote on the Senate-passed funding bill that would end…”
And Rep. Dan Maffei tweeted, “The gov’t shutdown is not a time for political games. I support the Democratic discharge petition for a ‘clean’ CR.”
Strong words from people of weak character. They are just as guilty as any Republican for the shutdown, and the resulting effects of it. If you live in one of these Representative districts, you must start to primary them with somebody who will stand firm for the Democratic Party, and not run to the Republican Party the minute they see an opportunity. It is because of politicians like these 7 that the Democratic Party was perceived as weak during the Bush years. Our Party has grown leaps and bounds from that time, and there is no going back now.
Representative Chris Van Hollen on the House floor calling out Eric Cantor, the Republican Party and the seven “Democrats” that effectively ended democracy as we know it.