While eating my lunch today and perusing the news, I’m seeing more and more articles on the inevitable shutdown, and I’m getting more and more annoyed. My Libertarian-leaning and Tea-party friends are probably happy about this: a shutdown government is a smaller government. The rest? I can’t see how the non-Tea-Party Republicans like this, as the memories of this will only hurt their party. My Democratic friends don’t like it as well: we need a functioning government.
My thoughts? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Congress has gone insane.
Simply put: it is the job of the House to originate a budget appropriation bill that will be signed by the President by the start of the fiscal year, October 1. It is not to develop a bill that they know will be either not make it through the Senate, or that will be rejected by the President. They’ve tried over 40 times to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act; it has never made it out of the Senate. They should not have expected anything different this time. They should give up on defunding it. If, instead, they want to fix some of its deficiencies, then propose bills after it is funded. There are things to fix, from the medical device surcharge to the calculation of the Cadillac plan tax.
Does this mean the House needs to roll over and be the President’s bitch? No. But it does mean they need to learn to compromise — to find incremental changes that the Senate and President will approve. It is their leadership’s job, given that they don’t like what the majority party has done, to find compromises that correct the problems. But they seem incapable of doing that (which is what adults do); they would rather act childish, throw their tantrum and scream “no” until they get their way.
As a result of their tantrum, people won’t be able to visit National parks or National museums. They will be delayed on getting home loans and business loans that depend on Federal loan guarantees. They won’t be able to get passports for business or pleasure travel. They won’t be able to buy guns. They won’t be able to do a lot of things (ETA: Here’s an even more detailed list). All because of a minority in the House that is holding the government hostage while they don’t want to do but will eventually have to do anyway (haven’t we all seen our children do this?). They need to be adults, and learn that a partial solution is better than no solution.
[Edited to remove a mixed metaphor]
I, for one, will remember this behavior during the mid-term elections.