House Republicans Could Open The Government Back Up Right Now
- Leo Finn, a 48-year-old father of three, is unable to get cancer treatment because new clinical trials cannot begin during a government shutdown.
- The 401 National Parks that have shut down are costing local communities $76 million per day.
- The widow of a New Mexico forest firefighter and her three-year-old son have seen their survivor benefits delayed as a result of the shutdown.
- A rescue mission for a missing women was put on hold because workers were furloughed.
- A Head Start program in Bridgeport, Connecticut was forced to shut down completely on Tuesday. The program serves over 1,000 young children.
- Meals for more than 85,000 children in Arkansas: gone. And 2,000 newborns there won’t receive infant formula.
- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: The shutdown “seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation.”
And the list goes on.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Washington continue to offer political spin that nobody else is buying. The initial Republican strategy to defund Obamacare has fallen apart as people successfully enroll in the insurance marketplaces. Their latest, a piecemeal funding strategy, is in fact a reminder of the important role government plays in every American’s life — from nutrition aid and veteran benefits, to national emergency and disaster recovery. But the American people want the shutdown to end for the entiregovernment, and they blame the Republicans for causing it. Republicans aren’t even sure what they stand for anymore. This quote from conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) pretty much sums it up:
“We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
You don’t even know what that is? That’s leadership.
Increasingly, some House Republicans have come out in opposition to this attitude, and in support of a ‘clean’ government spending bill that would re-open the government. In fact, enough have now publicly supported such a bill that it would pass with majority Democratic support. Speaker John Boehner knows this — but is so scared of the extreme right-wing of his party that he won’t even allow it to come to a vote.
BOTTOM LINE: One faction, of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, has shut down major parts of the government — all because they didn’t like one law. And there are now enough House Republican defectors from this strategy to open the government back up. If John Boehner just allowed the vote to happen, we could stop this unpopular, economically devastating shut down right now.