As the government shutdown continues, Republicans are trying to find any way to dig themselves out of the mess they created. Sure, most Republicans won’t admit that the shutdown is their fault, but internally they know they’re the cause of it. Even Republican Senators like John McCain have recently called out GOP rhetoric that misled Americans and led to this shutdown.
And as the public’s opinion on the GOP drops, they’re now rushing to find some kind of deal to reopen the government, seemingly hoping to limit some of the self-inflicted damage they’ve done to their own party.
The latest proposal on the table right now is a plan which would reopen the government at current spending levels (meaning the Affordable Care Act gets funded) and continue the cuts caused by the sequester, while allowing more control by each agency over what’s cut and what isn’t. It would also raise our debt ceiling through January 31, 2014, something Republicans initially opposed as they only wanted to do a 6-week extension on the debt ceiling. President Obama fiercely insisted on a longer extension to avoid going through this again in just a handful of weeks right before the holiday season (as if going through it again a few months from now makes it any better, but I digress).
A couple of concessions Republicans are asking for, and should get, is a delay on the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices for two years (something that isn’t all that popular with either party) and another is to have internal auditors ensure that those receiving tax subsidies to buy health insurance are in fact eligible. Something I happen to agree with.
Republicans are also pushing for a change in the definition of “full-time” from 30 hours to 40 hours for employers.
But again, take note that nowhere in these plans is the repeal, the defunding or delay of “Obamacare”—the reason Republicans shut down the government to begin with.
So as they’ve continued to insist that this shutdown was the fault of President Obama and Democrats, it’s clear that the American people aren’t buying it and the Republicans are struggling more than ever to sell it.
And while any plan that reopens the government and raises our debt ceiling will undoubtedly be a temporary deal (meaning in just a few months we’ll be right back here again) it’s a clear sign that the Republican party has backed themselves into a corner, is divided and simply doesn’t know what the hell to do next.
They’re scrambling to end the shutdown and begin damage control over their actions, which some polls have indicated may cost them the House next November.
I just hope when mid-term elections do come next fall, the American people don’t forget these antics. We must do our best to see the Democratic party takes back power in the House of Representatives and grows their power in the Senate. Otherwise, we’re going to continue to see nothing but obstruction and partisan games being played with the lives of Americans at the hands of the Republican party.
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