Showing posts with label continuing resolution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label continuing resolution. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just do it Boehner

John Boehner - Caricature
John Boehner - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
It is so galling to watch members of the U.S. Congress behave like bullies on a playground.

This is day 3 of the government's failure to operate, thanks to House Speaker John Boehner. If there is one person that could end this right now, and could have prevented it from ever happening in the first place, it is John Boehner.

What is his problem? Granted, he fears losing his position as House Speaker if he doesn't make everyone happy. Is he fool enough to think anyone could do that? Politics 101 teaches that it is impossible to make all the people happy all the time. Is the title worth it? Is the perceived power that goes with the title worth losing face, losing sleep, and losing the respect of the majority of Americans? Is it worth future history books writing that you shrugged off your obligation?

Boehner should never have been elected to a leadership position because he is clearly not a leader. He isn't even a good follower.

The responsible thing for John Boehner to do is bring the Senate's continuing resolution to fund the government in the short term, to the House floor to put the government back in business before further demands from Senate Democrats complicate his already untenable position. Clearly, this stopgap measure which largely contains Republican fingerprints, is just a stopgap measure, but would at least allow the government to operate. This is Boehner's only option. He should take it before his boots sink further into the muck. Democrats are in a position to make further demands. They have nothing to lose.

On Oct. 17, the House and Senate will be required to raise the debt ceiling. If they fail to act, I'm sure the President will evoke executive privilege to pay the country's bills. The way I see it, Boehner has no option to get what he wants, if he even knows what he wants. So, he ought to do the right thing. Bring the Senate resolution to the floor and let the chips fall where they may.

Boehner may be irresponsible but some of his cohorts are despicable

It was painful to watch photo-ops yesterday at the World War II war memorial and to see footage of congressmen harassing park rangers that are just trying to do their jobs.

After a group of World War II veterans traveled to Washington, D.C. only to find the memorial to their distinguished service closed, they brazenly removed the gates and visited the memorial anyway, as reported by ABC News.

Good for them, by the way. I find it totally offensive that the public can be kept out of places that are in essence ours. We pay for them; we should be able to use them, but that is another story for another time.

GOP Congresswoman and tea party darling Michelle Bachmann, greeted veterans on that first day, just so she could get her face on the news. Bachmann is gleeful about the shutdown of the government, saying it is what she wanted. So she thought she would take advantage of it for a little photo-op. You can never have your face on camera too often, eh Michelle?

While Michelle was posing in front of cameras, in another area near the memorial, U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a GOP congressman from Texas was making his own statement. It didn't go over very well with those in attendance.

Yesterday Reince Priebus, the GOP National Committee Chairman made a grand gesture in front of the news media, of funding guards for the veterans memorial so it could remain open. Oh please! It was open anyway because the veterans took matters into their own hands to open it; and well they should because it is theirs!

This kind of stunt is so obvious to anyone with a critical eye. This behavior is shallow, self-serving, and pretty pathetic. Perhaps someone should tell Priebus and his cohorts that it was his own party that is responsible for the shut down of the veteran's memorial and the rest of the government offices, parks, and programs.

Once again, c'mon John Boehner, do the right thing. Bring a clean continuing resolution to re-open the government to the floor and let the entire House vote on it. Act like the Speaker of the House and not just the Speaker of the Republicans.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Government shutdown prohibits picnic at the lake

Lake Norfork
A calm and serene Lake Norfork
I'm really upset that I'm unable to go to the lake today for a picnic. There will be no yummy sandwiches, no homemade potato salad, and no tasty iced tea to wash it down. There will be no watching the Great Blue Herons along the shore or diving just below the surface of the water; no ducks swimming lazily in formation. I won't be able to watch the parade of squirrels chasing each other as they fight for their stash of acorns high in the oak trees whose leaves are starting to fall. I won't be able to watch boats zip across the water.

Truthfully, I had no plans to visit the lake today. I only want to because I know I can't. I am barred from the park by the lake because it is run by the Army Corps of Engineers and they were told not to report to work today. I'm no different than anyone else that is unable to enjoy my day. All federal parks, museums, the national zoo, and every other government facility is closed up tight; it is closed because the United States government is shut down due to inaction by the U.S. Congress to fund our government. 

If I was John Boehner, Speaker of the House, I would pack my picnic basket, get in my car, drive to the park, and ram it right through the gate. 

That is in essence what he did when he refused to call a clean CR (continuing resolution) to the floor that had already been passed by the U.S. Senate. It would have passed by members on both sides of the aisle. Instead, he and his merry madmen took the country hostage over his insistence that there be changes in the Affordable Care Act. There were three attempts to pass the CR with amendments related to gutting the ACA or better known as Obamacare. One of the provisions in the amendments was to allow employers to opt out of providing women's reproductive rights. Do you want your employer to decide what is best for you or your wife? 

Boehner also tried additional amendments, all related to Obamacare. Senate leaders were clear that any CR related to Obamacare would not pass. They stood their ground.

Instead of doing the right thing, Boehner refused to allow the clean CR to come to the floor, something he could have done yesterday and could still do today. 

The parade of Republicans speaking for the various amendments, each one designed to harm President Obama's signature accomplishment. One of the amendments would delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year. It was scheduled to begin today. Indeed, masses of Americans signed up for health care through the ACA today. The government shutdown had no effect because the funding was already ensured.

Another House Republican amendment, which came out of the 'rules' committee, made up of 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats, would exempt congressional members' own employees from eligibility of the Affordable Care Act. Their final attempt, just minutes before the government deadline prior to the shutdown, was to establish a conference committee to iron out the differences between the two houses. That is customary when both houses pass two differing versions of the same bill. That was something members of the senate tried to do since March when both houses passed spending bills. It didn't happen because Boehner refused to appoint members to the conference committee. Instead, Boehner's House was busy trying to repeal Obamacare -- 42 times. 

The part that annoyed me the most, during my six-hour marathon session with C-Span and C-Span 2, as I watched all the action take place live, was how Republicans tried to act as innocents as they blamed everyone but themselves. 

Make no mistake about this, Speaker John Boehner must take responsibility for shutting down the government. He and his tea party members took the country hostage, refusing to do the people's business. His actions were reprehensible! 

My desire to enjoy a day at the lake will just have to wait until the government comes to its senses, if that ever happens. My disappointment pales in comparison to the millions of workers that were told not to come to work today, will not get paid, and who knows for how long? 

I certainly hope the American people remember this day on Nov. 14, 2014 when House members want you to trust them to do the public's business for another two years. 
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