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Editorial: This is Boehner’s shutdown

It’s difficult to hold your breath and stamp your feet at the same time, so the government shutdown by House Republicans probably won’t last all that long. That doesn’t mean it isn’t causing real harm to millions of Americans, among them some 800,000 furloughed federal workers. The shutdown is making the United States, in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s words, look like a banana republic, which is bad for the economy. And it’s done the seemingly impossible. It has made Americans even more disgusted with Congress and worried about the nation’s ability to govern itself than they were last week.

But if you really want to lose sleep, consider this: If anything were to happen to President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner would become president.

This is Boehner’s government shutdown. The lachrymose speaker who cries when he sees a little kid recite the Pledge of Allegiance is shedding no tears for the kids who won’t get fed because their Head Start program was closed. The House controls the budget, and the speaker controls the agenda. Boehner could have allowed a Senate budget bill stripped of attacks on Obamacare to come to a vote. It would have passed, and this latest crisis manufactured by Republicans would have been averted. Had he done so, however, Tea Party-type House members would have had a hissy fit that might ultimately cost Boehner his speakership.

Most speakers would have done the right thing and put the welfare of the nation ahead of their desire to hang onto their title. Not Boehner, who has allowed House extremists to stage 43 pointless votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, votes that also did something noteworthy: They made Congress even more dysfunctional, which may actually be what the most conservative House members want to accomplish because it slows government.

This shutdown is only a preliminary bout. The main match will come in a few weeks when Congress holds another vote to raise the debt ceiling and allow the nation to borrow the money it needs to pay its debts. Once again, what happens will be up to Boehner, who can cave to Tea Party threats or allow a House vote on a clean bill to raise the debt limit. If he doesn’t, and once again puts the nation’s economy and credit rating in jeopardy, House Democrats should work with the House Republicans who want government to work and elect a speaker who puts the nation’s interest first.

Republicans are holding government hostage to their demand that Obamacare be delayed – so they can kill it later – not because it’s a bad law. Its roots lie in ideas proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation, ideas that were the basis of Massachusetts health care reforms enacted by their party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. They are desperate because they’re afraid that the more the law’s provisions are put in place, the more the public will like them, in the same way they learned to like Social Security and Medicare.

The law is not perfect, and even when it’s fully implemented, millions of Americans will lack coverage. But every American, even those who don’t need to shop for insurance on the exchange or won’t get a subsidy if they do, is already benefiting from the act. Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage when you need it most, when you’re truly and expensively ill. They can no longer place an annual limit on what they’ll pay for, and they can’t refuse to insure you if you have a pre-existing condition. That’s only for starters.

House Republicans have turned out the lights because they don’t like the new couch, but the public will only put up with the dark so long.

Legacy Comments30

America will not survive 3 more years of this - dont forget it was Obama that lost the USA AAA+ credit rating for the 1st time in history

What a surprise the Concord Monitor who hasn't held Obama and his democrat party accountable for anything hold Republicans responsible for the Shutdown. While Republicans were working hard this weekend trying to prevent the shutdown Obama of course was slacking off playing golf. Harry Reid was also slacking off. Of course the Monitor won't report the indifference of Obama and the democrats have for the American people. Using this paper as a source if information is becoming more and more ludicrous.

To Friends below - no reply button. Is that a lot different than all those businesses clamoring for better road/interstate construction, deeper ports for larger shipping, more grants that the tax payers pay for but then they hide their profits off shore so as not to pay the taxes to fund all the things they want to make their bushiness more profitable. Lets see, businesses want the handouts and want others to pay for it.

a question for the readers...WHEN WAS THE LAST BUDGET PASSED?

Its been a real long time because Democrats in the senate don't want the taxpayers know how they are wasting the Taxpayer's money. I believe it was in the first year of Obama's first term and haven't passed one since.

Nice post. Couldn't help but be reminded of the hostage scene from "Blazing Saddles". See if it helps make sense of the situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_JOGmXpe5I

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It was passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, then the president was re-elected. This is how laws are made. Now the Republicans want to change the rules. They don't like a particular law, can't find a way to repeal it, so they hold the country hostage and say "we won't pass a budget unless the ACA is repealed". Now THAT'S bullying my friends. And the American public won't soon forget.

It was rammed through and no one read it, by reconciliation and behind closed doors when Obama campaigned on open hearings in the public eye and it was a dirty ideological bill. But progressives bullied it through and now can't accept the fact that others are returning the favor. Progressives don't care about any opinion or agenda but their own and they just want what they want and too bad for everyone else. Maybe if I ran a child care business and did not want to cover my employees, I would be all for this but I resent the fact that my premiums the cost shared by my company 75% for my family will more than likely almost double with less care so that I can subsidize some faceless person who can't seem to fend for themselves. Face it, progressives are being self centered as well, they want to pay less. What a canard and how shallow and small of people who want others to chip in for their needs and wants. I believe it started with Generation X.

You can't be serious. "Obamacare" was developed and planned for years, hundreds of changes were debated and made in Congress, the Tea Party screamed and distorted every sentence that they had combed through word-by-word, until we were all ready to vomit. Then, CONGRESS PASSED IT and the President held his nose and signed it b/c it was better than nothing and it's what the GOP wanted. It wasn't "rammed through behind closed doors". The original bill and versions proposed didn't have all the private insurers involved to take their cut of the pie, it was the republicans who made this thing a monstrosity because they wouldn't agree to a public/one payer system. This is what the GOP did with Medicare (Advantage Plans for private insurers ), the Medicare RX Plan (gives huge benefits to drug companies, prohibits congress from negotiated for lower prices on large quantities) and costs seniors a fortune. Now they've made a complete mess of ObamaCare that no one likes and is overly complicated b/c the Republicans had to keep the private sector in the middle of it and give them huge profits off of it. It was their bill, they created it, they passed it, now live with it!

Ground control to Major Tom! Beware of that UFO which is entering the earth's atmosphere. They are here to investigate whether or not 9-11 was an inside job and to meet up with the Free Masons to discuss further plans to take over the world. While they are here they will show that chem trails are truly perpetuated by the government and they will be meeting with the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove to discuss one world government and how they can manipulate world currency. Be watchful, they are after the world gold market. I have more conspiracies and stories for you but I will have to call you on my secure Batphone later on. Klatuu Barader Nikto. Shhhhh, don't tell anyone we are in contact.

Hmm..wonder how they got the deems to go along with it???

GWTW, you know the answer Moderate Democrats needed to be bribed to vote for ObamaKare. ObamaKare an American Con-job from minute one.

I would like to refresh my memory about how the ACA was rammed through under threat of a government shutdown..., but I just cannot seem to find anything about it on the Google. You can give me that link, right?

Common Grind, ObamaKare was rammed trough with bribes and reconciliation a very slimy start for a very slimy bill.

Van- Yes or no: Under our constitution, is the law of the land supposed to reflect the will of the majority? Was the ACA passed by a majority of both houses of Congress? Is it the law of the land? Would not a majority of both houses of Congress also pass a “clean” funding bill if they could vote on it? Is it not Speaker Boehner, alone, who is preventing that majority from taking that vote? If each of those is a “yes,” how is the editorial wrong?

Just chance ACA to DOMA...law of the land and all that.

ObamaKare was passed by bribes and reconciliation. Everyone please go to google and type in the Cornhusker kickback, Louisiana purchase obamacare. You will see how dishonest the passage of Obamacare was.

There was no ramming of the ACA. It was debated for the better part of a year. It was greatly watered-down with the elimination of the public-option thanks to Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, (the insurance capital of the country--what a surprise!) and Don Nelson of Nebraska (CEO of the National Association of Insurance Companies--again, what a surprise!). As for me personally Itsa, I'm young and in great shape. I have excellent health insurance through my employer anyway. The ACA isn't going to do anything for me. But I am keenly aware that there are people who work much harder than I do for much less money and are one medical emergency away from disaster.

why didnt the democrats pass a budget in the previous 4 years - the answer to that makes your opinion turn into ashes

So if ObamaKare is settle law then why is Obama making unilateral changes to it with out congressional approval. Lets go back to our civics class, it is congress that make laws not a dictator like Obama.

There have been 17 Govt. shutdowns since 1976 . . . move along, nothing to see here.

Of course Dan is reasonable.

This is Obama's and Reids' Shutdown. While the Republicans were working this weekend in order to overt a shutdown. Guess what Obama was doing. If you guessed playing golf and goofing off you would be right. It is an easy guess if Obama and Harry Reid aren't giving speeches attacking Republicans calling them every name in the book like: Terrorists, arsonists, extortionists, bomb belt wearers then they are goofing off like playing golf. This country is run by middle aged juveniles in the White house and US Senate. I can't wait until November 2014 and vote the bums out who give power to these Juveniles who can't take responsibility for their actions.

Refusing to pass a clean bill and attaching amendments that have failed 40+ times in a row and then saying its the other guys fault makes one wonder what he's smoking. This is Boehner's fault for caving to a few right wingers so he can keep his speakership. I bet if a clean bill was presented in the house it would easily pass. And it doesn't matter what Obama was doing while all this was going on. He stated upfront he would not compromise on this point and I agree with him. Regardless of how one feels about the ACA shutting down the government because you can't get your way is just wrong, and if it continues into the debt ceiling debate does border on treason for destroying the country's economy. If you think the recession of 2008 was bad wait and see what happens when the republicans refuse to let us pay the bills for spending they not the president has already approved.

The House of Representatives control the purse strings and the party in power generally has the votes to fund or not fund everything. Obama has ignored several requests to sit down and negotiate. The Chief Executive of any company could not act the way that Obama is acting. He wants what he wants and that just strengthens the need to have the three branches of government. Just because he is the President, not the "Boss". And Obamacare just worsens your spending scenario in a very, very Draconian way.

Harry Reid is attacking only those whose driving force is furthering they're own agenda. The zealot element of the GOP is the culprit, not the GOP in general. When you have a faction whose idea of compromise is having the other guy cave, call it what you want but the American people are not so stupid that they don't know whose shutdown this is.

Most that voted for Obama don't care who's fault it is as long as they keep getting their handouts. It is also this same group of people Obamacare is supposed to cover - IF they even bother to sign up. They might but only if it doens't cost them anything.

Well Said Friends!!!

FACT - NO BUDGET last 4 years - ObamaKare was not around then - what is the newest excuse for that?

I guess you think any president can make unilateral changes in settle law and use the federal government as a bank account for politicians and his political friends. That is wrong. Fair minded people have to rise and stop this abuse of government where politicians put themselves above law that they write and pass. Republicans are fighting for fairness and their constituents democrats are fighting for more power and greed.

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