Today is day one of the government shutdown and the Senate for the fourth time rejected a House proposal to give-in to their demands or be responsible for the shutdown. Ted Cruz can now take a bow as being the architect of this current debacle and many critics are referring to him as the new Speaker of the House. On today, many republican lawmakers credited Cruz for giving them the courage to stand firm by demanding that the president either delay or gut the Affordable Care Act, (ACH) which is his signature legislation. The House proposed legislation on today that would continue to fund veterans benefits as well as keeping national parks open during the current shutdown which too were Cruz’s suggestions. That proposal along with other piece meal solutions were suggested during Cruz’s twenty-one hour C-Span monologue where he advocated for a government shutdown if his demand to defund Obamacare were not adhered to.
"We have a debt limit coming," he told reporters. "Most budget agreements in the past have always involved debt limit increases. We think that's the forcing mechanism, just like the Budget Control Act that President Obama signed before. That's what we think we need. A forcing action to bring two parties together," Ryan said. "We don't want to close the government down. We want it open. But we want fairness ... We want a budget agreement that gets the debt under control."
Ryan was referring to the debt deal that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed in 2011. That deal included among other things, raising the debt ceiling and lining up sequestration cuts. Ryan also pointed to the Bowles-Simpson deal, the 1997 budget agreement and the 1990 budget agreement as examples of other deals that came together in the context of raising the debt ceiling.
The Republicans often say that they “are doing the will of the people.” According to a poll released on today, 70 percent of Americans were opposed to a government shutdown. Another poll released on today showed that Congress’s approval rating was a dismal 10 percent. That would make this current Congress the least respected of any Congress in American history.
"We will not go to conference with a gun to our head," Reid said late Monday night on the Senate floor. "The first thing the House has to do is pass a clean six-week C.R. They have that before them they can do that right now."
According to many Democratic lawmakers, if a clean bill was presented to the House it would be approved within 10 minutes. According to Boehner’s own assertion, he would always adhere to the “Hastert Rule” which suggests that the Speaker of the House only bring bills before the House for a vote that have the approval of the majority of the majority in the House. This rule is preventing Boehner from ending the current shutdown and has diminished his effectiveness as Speaker of the House.
The analogy by Harry Reid of “not negotiating with a gun to our head,” is only echoing the statements of President Obama of being blackmailed and extorted to give-in to Republican demands. These are words that are normally associated with criminals and terrorist organizations and not to elected officials. But with the government now in a partial shutdown, such analogies as “chucking and jiving” to describe the first African-American president’s reluctance to be intimidated by a radical faction of the Republican Party, only gives people a glimpse as to what’s really behind this continual opposition to anything this president stands for.