Another power struggle in D.C.
The American public cannot be blamed these days for feeling like villagers caught between two armies, each aiming their cannons at the other with the village right in the line of fire. Or like citizens of Tokyo when Godzilla and Mothra are squaring off.
The federal government is nearing its debt ceiling again, and unless Congress approves raising the amount the federal government can borrow to fund its operations, the government will start to shut down on Oct. 1.
What has traditionally been a humdrum procedure has been turned into a giant power struggle in the halls of Congress. Republicans, led by their most conservative members, have been insisting on some weighty concessions in return for their vote. Two years ago they demanded heavy cuts in the federal deficit. A government shutdown was averted when the now infamous sequestered cuts deal was reached. The deal called for a draconian system of across the board cuts, unless Congress came up with a better plan. Of course they didn’t, the sequester plan took effect and the deal everyone thought would be too awful for anyone to allow to become reality is now our reality.
Now, Republicans in the House are insisting that the only way they’ll agree to raise the debt ceiling is if funding for the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) is eliminated. After 40 House votes to repeal Obamacare went exactly nowhere in the Deomcratic-controlled Senate,
Republicans must know this effort is going nowhere. They are trying in vain to pin any blame for a government shutdown on Democrats.
The American public is not that dumb. If the government does shut down, with all the pain that will inflict on government employees who get laid off, U.S. troops whose paychecks stop, Social Security recipients whose benefits are halted, to name a few, we will know who put us in that position.