The Republican government shutdown is a day and a half closer to happening, thanks to John Boehner (who is now exclusively controlled by Sen. Ted Cruz and his 2016 political aspirations) and the dimmest bulbs in the U.S. House:
GovExec.com: House Republicans on Saturday rallied around a short-term measure that would fund the government through Dec. 15 while delaying the implementation of Obamacare for one year, a politically risky proposal that unites the Republican conference but could bring the government within reach of a shutdown. The plan, which also includes an amendment to repeal the medical device tax and a separate provision to pay military members in the event of a shutdown, also puts the ball quickly back into the Senate’s court. …Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, though, dismissed the House’s plan outright…. “Today’s vote by House Republicans is pointless… Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown.” To avoid a partial government shutdown, both chambers of Congress must reach an agreement by Tuesday, the start of the new fiscal year…
I don’t happen to agree with only paying the military in the event of a shutdown — that’s Republican hypocrisy at its finest. What about all the federal workers who won’t be paid (those furloughed and those working through it)? The GOP always, always pulls out their Military Card when they think they need to look patriotic (support the troops! except when they’re no longer active and need benefits, etc). In late 2013, this pathetically tired move should only work with baggers. If there’s going to be a shutdown of the American government, let’s all feel it together.
PLEASE NOTICE the Republican House did not amend anything to stop their own paychecks in the event of a shutdown. In fact, the Senate last month unanimously passed a bill that would eliminate pay for lawmakers but the bill has stalled in the House. There’s a revealing little factoid to share with any Republican-supporting acquaintances you might know.
So how excited were the entirety of the House Republican Conference about shutting down the government OVER HEALTHCARE REFORM? This excited:
- …Cheers erupted in a closed-door meeting after Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made it clear the House would not give-up in the stand-off with the Senate and the White House.
- “Let’s roll,” an exuberant Rep. John Culberson, R-Tex., shouted as colleagues cheered Boehner. An unfortunate analogy, perhaps, because Culberson later explained he was evoking the battle cry of passengers who tried to wrest control of United Airlines Flight 93 from terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. That was the fourth plane to go down in that day’s terrorist attacks, crashing in a Pennsylvania field and killing all on board.
- Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas went on the House floor shortly after the meeting and called Boehner “our great speaker.”
- …as lawmakers described it, Boehner walked up to the microphone and proceeded to matter-of-factly detail what his new strategy would entail. “People went bonkers,” with approval, said Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz. “They were very excited.”
That observation, all by itself, sums up everything that will happen in the next 48 hours.
- And as the meeting adjourned, the accolades for Boehner kept on coming. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, a vocal critic of leadership who just two days ago trashed Boehner’s proposed debt-ceiling maneuver, exited the meeting and flashed a big “thumbs up” sign.
- Even Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who often clashes with leadership and is known to regularly shun the media, ran toward a horde of reporters and declared: “It’s a fabulous bill!”
Is it “fabulous,” Michele? Crazy-eyes approved.
- House Republicans – including some who met privately this week with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who has led the charge against Obamacare – said Saturday they were not worried that extending the battle with the Senate might send the nation spiraling into a shutdown.
They’re not worried because this is what they’ve been wanting since 2011.
- “Republicans will probably be blamed for whatever happens,” said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. “So, what remains for us is to do the right thing.”
Shorter Trent Franks: “Whatever, so… What.Ev.Er.”
A interesting, but not surprising, observation from a congressional reporter at Politico last night:
VA: All veterans’ benefit payments will be disrupted if a shutdown goes beyond two weeks – The Department of Veterans Affairs told congressional officials Friday that all benefit checks it issues, including disability claims and pension payments, will be disrupted if a government shutdown lasts for more than two or three weeks, according to congressional sources.
And Yes, the GOP Even Managed to Work Denial of Birth Control Into Their Clownish Budget Bill – this shows the influence of the extreme Calvinist religious right on today’s Tea Party Republicans. They know this crazy bill is never going to pass the Senate and is only intended as theater, so they’re lettin’ it all hang out.
The GOPeaParty never talks about how much their political theater (for the benefit of their gerrymandered, minority-opinion voting base) will actually cost the American taxpayer – According to the Office of Management and Budget, the two shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 cost taxpayers $1.4 billion combined. Adjust for inflation and you’ve got $2 billion in today’s dollars. …In the immediate aftermath of the first government shutdown in 1981, the most conservative estimate – conducted by the General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office) — put the cost of shutting the government down for a single day at $8.2 million, or almost $21 million in today’s dollars. A House panel later concluded that the day-long furlough cost taxpayers 10 times more than that.
“This has been a rather confusing week, I know. I don’t think, ever, in the history of the Senate, have we had a 21-hour filibuster, and then the persons carrying out the filibuster voted for the issue they were filibustering. I don’t think that’s happened in the history of our country… is it more important to the Senator from Texas and the Senator from Utah that people around the country watch this vote, or is it more important to us that we have a good policy outcome from our standpoint and actually have a body that has a majority of Republicans to be able to react and send back something of good policy?” – GOP Senator BOB CORKER (R – TN), ripping his fellow Tea Party Republican senators Ted Cruz (R – TX) and Mike Lee (R – UT)