Shut down this shutdown

At midnight on Oct. 1, after Congress was unable to reach an agreement on a bill that would provide, in essence, funding for the federal government, a significant amount of government functions were shut down.

Leading up to this shutdown, the Republican-controlled House added provisions to the bill that would either delay or defund the Affordable Care Act, and the Democrat-controlled Senate, none too pleased with these additions, removed the provisions and sent the bill back to the House for approval.  The House, of course, did not approve, and the battle pursues.

Republican Party, man up. Don’t get pushed around by a small group of extremist tea partiers.

And tea partiers, the time for debate is over. The Affordable Care Act was passed in Congress and deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court. It is law! You are using misdirection and hyperbole to terrify the already nervous American people. Don’t attempt to use this crucial budget bill for your own agenda under the guise that you are doing what the American people want.

It should be noted, that this government shutdown is not catastrophic … yet. Around 800,000 employees are currently furloughed under the shutdown, but this is out of 2.9 million federal civilian employees. Essential departments such as NSA and most of the military are all still at work and nonessential sectors such as NASA are operating on skeleton crews.

The more substantial impact of this shutdown is not so easily quantified. It was our ever so pristine ideals of democracy and fairness that took the proverbial bullet when the government closed its doors. Congress is no longer fulfilling its constitutional duty — to represent Americans — when, according to a CNN poll taken after the shutdown, only 10 percent of Americans now approve of the job Congress is doing.

It’s this simple — political parties need to stop using money, people’s jobs and the basic functions of our government to forward their own political itineraries. This should be a wake up call to everyone and, most importantly, people who think that their vote doesn’t matter. When next year’s congressional election rolls around, show that this sort of behavior is unacceptable and kick ineffective leaders out of office.

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