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Today marks the first day of the so-called government shutdown.
Predictably, most mainstream media sources have blamed the “government shutdown” on the Republicans. But that biased narrative does not reflect the reality of the situation. It’s more than a little disingenuous to blame 1/3 of the decision making bodies for the outcome. Republicans only control the House of Representatives. Democrats control both the Senate and the White House. Yet, too few media sources are focusing on the Democrats unwillingness to negotiate and prevent a government shutdown.
The House sent three (3!) bills to fund the government to the Senate. Two of the three spending bills contained compromises by the Republicans. The first bill would have defunded ObamaCare, the second bill would have completely delayed ObamaCare for a year, and the third bill would have delayed just the individual mandate for a year—the requirement that everyone has to purchase government-approved health insurance. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to even allow an actual vote on any of these final bills. He wouldn’t negotiate. He wouldn’t come to the table to compromise.
Harry Reid just turned his back as the clock was running out. He specifically said, "We are not going to negotiate on this."
How in the world is this a #GOPShutdown?
For the record, I'm not on team Republican or team Democrat. I’m more than happy to call out members of either party when they do wrong. I’m someone who dislikes misleading information and hypocrisy. And clearly, the media isn't putting the blame where it belongs.
Nearly every American is probably sick and tired of these continuous continuing resolution and looming government shutdown fights. We wouldn’t need these short term government funding resolutions if Congress actually passed a real budget. It’s a basic responsibility that Congress has failed to do for over 4 years—even when the Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and White House.
In typical Washington fashion, the so-called government shutdown has turned into a bunch of political theater. Scaremongering media sources would have you believe that we are experiencing anarchy and zombies are roaming the streets. Here are the facts: most of the federal government is still open. The IRS, DHS, NSA, DOD, EPA, TSA, DOE, FCC, FDA, USDA, ATF, DEA, FBI, CBI, and nearly every unconstitutional government department has not shut down.
What has shut down? The most popular memorials and landmarks in Washington, D.C are closed. Sometimes called the Washington Monument syndrome, it’s a political tactic to “cut the most visible or appreciated service provided by the government.” The purpose of this dog and pony show is to cause outrage about the so-called government shutdown. No one is going to shed a tear if the IRS shuts down for the day. But turning off the adorable panda webcam at the national zoo is going to cause some temper tantrums.
The government is actually spending money to barricade outdoor memorials. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put a huge tarp over the Washington Monument. Park police are being paid to keep people away from the WWII memorial—though, the veterans were thankfully allowed in.
Enough with the political theater.
Tell Harry Reid to negotiate here.