Did you watch any of the Sunday political talkies? The most astounding takeaway for me was the position taken by every Democrat—Republicans are responsible for the (partial, roughly 13 percent) government shutdown.
That simply isn’t the case. Republicans have put forth 14 measures since Sept. 20 to keep “critical parts” of the government running, said Speaker John Boehner (Ohio).
Democrats and President Barack Obama agreed to only one of those—the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210) on Sept. 28. Absurdly, Dems have shut down many measures that would have benefited the people who probably put them in office.
Although the power of the purse is vested in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Constitution vests authority over executive departments in the president. Obama can reallocate resources, via his appointees, as he sees fit. Perhaps that is one reason the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ website remained online while the Amber Alert website was closed.
Republicans have sent measures to the Senate that include keeping the government running at current spending levels but delaying the health care law by one year to give Americans the same break the administration gave employers, and/or removing the special subsidies Obama gave federal employees (regular Americans get no such subsidies unless they’re poor), and/or delaying the individual mandate.
Other measures include providing local funding to D.C. to keep the capital operating using its own funding, opening parks and museums including the World War II Memorial, funding the National Institute of Health, paying the National Guard and Reserve, funding critical veterans’ benefits and services, funding FEMA, and funding nutrition programs for women, infants and children.
Boehner has posted the full list of GOP measures on the Speaker website. Ironically, all but a few of the measures Republicans have presented and Democrats and Obama have shot down would directly benefit those who vote Democrat, except for those like the military pay measure.
Boehner also provided a video explaining why the individual mandate for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should be delayed, and he included Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s contradictory statements about individuals’ costs.
In 2013, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “I don’t remember saying that everybody in the country would have a lower premium.”
The video contrasts that statement with what Pelosi said in 2012: “Everybody will have lower rates.”
Democrats see the partial shutdown as a tactical weapon ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, and they need it to prevail. The economy continues to sag, U.S. foreign policy is muddled, scandals like Fast and Furious as well as the IRS persecution of conservative groups and Republican donors continue to fester, and the country is more divided than ever, partly due to sowing divisiveness based on greed, skin color and social issues.
If you come to a conclusion based on facts rather than political spin, it’s evident Senate Democrats and some squishy Republicans as well as Obama refuse to acknowledge the authority granted the House in the U.S. Constitution. If the shutdown continues, it will be because Democrats chose for it to continue.
The term #HarryReidsShutdown has recurred on Twitter for more than a week. It should be trending in the minds of American voters as well.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 7, 2013)