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Aren’t government shutdowns the worst?
I mean, I can’t get my nature on in a bunch of national parks, I’m still expected to attend school and the animal web cams at the National Zoo have been turned off, for crying out loud!
Oh, and 800,000 federal employees are out of work. The other 1.3 million federal workers who are considered essential employees and have not been sent home may or may not get paid “eventually.” The National Institutes of Health in Maryland, a clinic that admits hundreds of patients every week seeking new clinical trials, is forced to deny new patients. It would have accepted 200 this week, with 30 of those being children and ten being children with cancer. The Women, Infants, and Children program—a program that helps about nine million Americans buy healthy food, educate themselves on nutritional information and assist them in getting medical referrals—will be cut from the Department of Agriculture’s funding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be able to provide “minimal support to protect the health and well-being of U.S. citizens.”
These are just a few of the affected departments and programs. All of the chaos, misfortune and life-debilitating obstacles that are being dumped onto the American people must be unavoidable because there’s no way a sane body of government would let this happen unless it was absolutely necessary, right?
Well, actually, this could be reversed rather easily, in theory. The government shut down because Congress can’t agree on federal government funding. Once they agree, the government can resume. The minor obstacle getting in the way is that the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House must come to a decision together.
In other words, we might never have a government again.
The silly thing is that it’s not so much the budget in question as it is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The House Republicans won’t pass a budget unless it delays Obamacare. As a reminder, Obamacare was already passed three years ago, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it last year. Essentially, the House is holding the country at ransom until it gets what it wants, which is to delay and defund a bill they don’t like that has already been passed fair and square.
Don’t worry, though. While the U.S. and its citizens suffer through the consequences of a government shutdown, Congress will continue to receive pay for doing absolutely nothing other than making themselves look more stubborn than a sleep-deprived two-year old.
It’s clear that the House refuses to listen to the Senate, the Supreme Court or the President, but maybe they’ll listen to me.
Dearest House, this nation is not a game of Monopoly; you can’t just flip the board over mid-game because you think you’re going to lose. This country is not supposed to be governed by personal ideologies; it is governed by a system of checks and balances that did not turn out the way you had hoped this time.
Pout all you want, but don’t put the people you govern in jeopardy.
Contact CU Independent Opinions Editor Lizzy Hernandez at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org.