Today at a construction company in Maryland, President Obama continued to press the Tea Party member of the House and Speaker Boehner to do the right thing and end the shutdown.
Meanwhile Tea Party members continue to reveal the true cause of the shutdown, and how narrow minded they are.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) made probably the most revealing comment to date, quoted by the President in Maryland today. Talking to NBC's Frank Thorpe, Stutzman said "We're not going to be disrespected here. We have to get something out of this and I don't know what that even is."
That's about as clear a message as you could send that the government has been shut down, 800,000 federal employees have lost three days of income thus far, and countless civilian contractors have ceased working on government funded projects so that the Tea Party House members of the GOP can "get respect" by getting something out of this deal, even if their own members don't know what that something is.
Their target to this point has been the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). They started with the complete defunding of the law as their goal, and have since backed down to delays in varying levels of implementation. There has been speculation that if the Democrats were to be willing to give on anything concerning the Affordable Care Act, it might be on the Medical Equipment tax provision. This tax does not apply to equipment sold over the counter and does not include things like eye glasses or hearing aids.
The interesting thing about this provision is that it is part of the funding for the Affordable Care Act that enabled the law to be debt and deficit neutral. Eliminating this tax then would require revenues to be generated elsewhere or it would have a negative impact on the deficit and the debt, something that the GOP, and especially the Tea Party, swore was their number one goal to avoid.
So here we are three days in. The Senate has passed a clean bill the specifically addresses the appropriations needed to keep the government running. No hidden agendas, no doctoring of the numbers, just the job they are required to do. This bill has been sent to Speaker Boehner and it sits on his desk. If he took the bill to the floor, it would most likely with twenty GOP members in the House already indicating they would votes yes. This is more than the seventeen necessary to carry a vote in the GOP controlled House.
But Speaker Boehner risks losing his party if that happens. And if he loses his party, he could potentially lose his position and the power that goes with it. And despite the fact that the vast majority of rational thinking Americans have called for an end to this stupidity, the Speaker must also be making sure he is not disrespected and making sure he gets something out of this.
Let's hope that the 800,000+ people who are being immediately impacted by this lunacy will pay attention and cast their votes in November 2014.