President Obama held a news briefing on yesterday and tried to offer some solutions to the infighting going on in Washington. He reiterated that the sixteen day shutdown was totally unnecessary and offered a course of action for the remainder of the year. He stressed three areas in which legislation has already passed in the Senate and could easily be deliberated in the House and made law before the end of the year. The areas mentioned in the briefing were the budget, immigration, and a farm bill.
The president made it clear that Washington is divided at this point and it's difficult to get the two political parties to agree on anything. His solution to this stalemate was to forego the things in which there is disagreement and move on to those things in which there is agreement.
With the new debt ceiling deadline being moved to Jan. 15, 2014, that gives the Congress 90 days to hash out any differences and come to an agreement in order to avoid a repeat of the shenanigans displayed by those who cost the country $24 billion in lost productivity during the recent shutdown.
Obama had a stern admonishment to those responsible for the shutdown:
"You don't like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election," he added. "Push to change it, but don't break it" because "that's not being faithful to what this country's about."
Many in the progressive movement have asked the question, "What is it about Obamacare that these people hate so much." That's not a rhetorical question, and the answers given by those in opposition to the Affordable Care Act just doesn't add up to shutting down the government to solve. Despite the humiliation suffered by the Republicans and their poll numbers being in the sewer, some are touting that, "We may have lost the battle but we are going to win the war." The definition of a win for this group would by default mean 40 million Americans would not have access to health care and the insurance companies would be back in the driver's seat. With the elimination of pre-existing conditions and the lifetime limits, (to name a few) consumers now have choices that were not available prior to Obamacare.
Speaking of choices, the Obama Administration made a choice to welcome all the federal workers back to work on yesterday. Vice President Joe Biden showed up at the Environmental Protection Agency with boxes of muffins. The heads of all the various departments made similar appearances through the D.C. area to let workers know that they are vital to this country and that they are appreciated. That's a sharp contrast to Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.) interrogating the head of the National Parks about who gave the order to close the World War II Memorial. An astute congressman held up a mirror and directed it to Darrell Issa and said, "Take a look, that's who closed the World War II Memorial."
If you have comments on this article you can direct them to me on Twitter @wlcarlisle.