WASHINGTON, D.C. (10/1/13) – Much of the federal government went into shutdown this morning; when the U.S. House and U.S. Senate failed to come to an agreement on the federal budget.
For most Kentuckians, this will be a non-event. Federal workers deemed non-essential will get a few days off and still may be paid. Federal workers classified as essential (i.e. air traffic controllers, FBI, active duty military, etc.) will continue. Much of the civilian support will be suspended until Congress comes to an agreement.
The disagreement is over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or ObamaCare). Liberals want to move toward a “single payer” system of health care where everyone in covered. Conservatives see ObamaCare as a move toward “socialized medicine”.
Conservative republicans in the House of Representatives have gained sufficient power to slow the legislative process and shut down the government until the liberal controlled Senate and very liberal President address concerns with ObamaCare.
President Obama has already unilaterally made several changes to the ACA including giving 1,200 waivers, delaying the employer mandate for one year and other adjustments. Republicans cry that the President is legislating by executive orders and that he doesn’t have the power or authority to change the law. The republicans do not have enough clout to force overturning ACA, defunding ACA or delaying the individual mandate.
Democrats argue that the issue is settled because it is law and voters spoke last year when they re-elected President Obama.
Both arguments are flawed. Both sides have been outmaneuvered by the other. Now both sides have failed in their fiduciary duty to provide a federal budget in a timely manner. The President has also failed to provide the leadership necessary and continues to rail against the republicans and particularly the conservative faction of the Republican Party known as the Tea Party. The fundamental truth is that the entire fiasco is political posturing and all about political power in the most powerful country in the world.
The lack of bi-partisan communication or agreement will continue to damage the United States. The U.S. military is being damaged severely because of the lack of a budget. The U.S. economy is struggling under an ever-increasing debt burden. U.S. businesses are struggling under massive new regulations, taxes, fees and employer mandates including ObamaCare.
Expectations are that all these differences will get even worse as Congress faces another debt ceiling crisis on October 17th.
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