|All contents Copyright (Keeba Smith) or other copyright holders. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed for any commercial purpose.
|HOME Alternatively Ode To Old Clothes Severed Relationship Another Shooting Movie Poster Keeba J Davis
Bath & Body Products Helen's Unique Designs Bible Stuff Site Map
Violence, Gangs, Guns
March On Washington
Ode To Old Clothes
Obama Is Wrong
Health Care Reform
Has Finally Passed
My Health Care
Smiley vs. Sharpton
Roland Martin says...
Blacks Must Work Harder
Terror Means War
Democrats Get A Swift
Shades of Bright Pale
Bath & Body Products
Helen's Unique Designs
| Government Shutdown
|Created Wednesday October 2, 2013
Posted Monday, October 4, 2013
Filed under Commentary
|This entry was posted Wednesday October 2, 2013; filed under Keeba’s Commentary.
To post a comment, click here.
|Keeba Smith is a published writer and desired screenplay artist. She is the author of “Shades of Bright Pale” and many other
unacquainted writings. Please visit www.Keeba.org to find out more about Keeba Smith, read additional critiques and her
unpublished autobiography, “Spirit in the Dark.”
|The government is shut down while we are still suffering from the sequester, furloughs and the
debt-ceiling debate is just looming around the corner. What is next is unknown.
Why is the government shutdown? Well, if you have been following the actions of the
Republicans (a.k.a. the Tea Party), then the shortest answer is easily answered: they hate
President Barack Obama.
We could ask why Republicans (a.k.a. the Tea Party) hate President Obama, and that answer
would and is easily answered: because President Barack Obama is Black.
Now before you conclude that I am playing the race card, read on and perhaps you can prove me
wrong. Perhaps there is a better answer. (By the way, there are some pretty hateful comments
|Now back to the reason the government is shutdown and roughly, 800,000 federal people are
forced to go without pay.
First, we should recognize the truth that the government shutdown has EVERYTHING to do with
President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA). Before its passage, Republicans would try and
ridicule President Obama's ACA by deceitfully mocking it by calling it "ObamaCare" but the tables
were turned. President Obama embraced what was perceived as sarcasm and said, "…well, I
DO care, so I think it is good for them to call it ObamaCare."
Secondly, we should realize that although ObamaCare is already funded, the Republican/Tea Party
publicly stated that they would not sign any bill that included ObamaCare. They publicly stated
that they would rather have the government shutdown then to include ObamaCare, which does not
make sense, as it is already funded.
Because of ObamaCare, Congress has now refused to agree on a new budget or extend the
current one. Say it is not true, and I beg to differ by providing facts.
Republican Steve King explained why the government is closed: "Because we're right, simply
because we're right. We can recover from a political squabble, but we can never recover
from ObamaCare." Republican Devin Nunes said, "You have this group that keeps saying
somehow if you're not with them, you're for ObamaCare. If you're not with exactly their
plan, exactly what they want to do, then you're somehow for ObamaCare, and it's just
getting a little old. It's moronic to shut down the government over this."
Congress had already voted to repeal ObamaCare 42 times. (I heard it was more than that, but
that is the latest news report.)
The Republicans/Tea Party hates the idea that President Obama was successful in getting
ObamaCare passed into law and will do everything in their power to continue to be a thorn in
President Obama's side. They hate him and despise his baby, ObamaCare.
The Republicans had defeated President Obama on several occasions, but ObamaCare was their
biggest fight; it was a chance to bring the President to his knees. When most people are sleeping,
the Republicans are wide-awake looking for sure ways to stop ObamaCare.
House proposed that a Vitter Amendment would
stop ObamaCare in its tracks. The Vitter
Amendment was an idea that Louisiana
Republican Senator David Vitter proposed when
ObamaCare was under debate. Senator Vitter
proposed that all members of Congress including
the President, the Vice President, and all political
appointees in the administration purchase their
health insurance on the ObamaCare Exchange
Republicans thought the Democrats would not agree and would be pressured to not go through
with ObamaCare. The Republicans thought they would come out smelling like a rose; implying
that not even Democrats would want to be associated with their own health care plan. The
Republican's plan was to pressure our politicians to choose between going without health insurance
or accepting a massive pay cut, but of course, they would not agree to that.
|Their own plan backfired when the Democrats gleefully embraced their idea. One would assume that the Republican's
Amendment/recommendation/idea worked in everyone's favor, but that would be stupid to assume such a thing because
later, the Republicans/Tea Party complained. They said that Congress had granted itself a special and illegal exemption
under ObamaCare. Essentially, - although they would not admit it - they blamed someone else for their own failed plan.
(As former president Bill Clinton said, "It takes some brass to attack guy for doing something you did.")
When Plan A did not work, they worked Plan B, which was to seek ways
to de-fund ObamaCare, but the Senate did not agree, so the
Republicans/Tea Party resorted to Plan C: vote to delay ObamaCare for
a year. Again, the Senate did not approve.
21 hours on the Senate floor in a standoff to avert ObamaCare. His
colleagues pretended that they were against him; hoping that he would
achieve success and President Obama would bend due to the looming
September 30 deadline to pass a federal budget. Although there was a lot
of media attention, I was suspicious, knowing that the Republicans would
again hold America hostage. They hated President Obama so much, that
Unfortunately for the Republicans, their last attempt was not enough to stop President Obama's ObamaCare, and 6 days
after Cruz's stunt, the Republican controlled House shutdown the United States government. Their actions are reckless,
as it destroys the chance for millions of Americans the opportunity to obtain affordable health care. (As David Corn said,
they wanted to stop ObamaCare before it had the opportunity to be helpful to those who need it most.)
Notwithstanding, it would be disingenuous if I failed to mention that although the scheduled deadline for Congress to pass
a Federal budget before the September 30th almost never happens. Accordingly, Continuing Resolutions (CR's) are not
new and allows time for the President and both Houses to agree. Moreover, we have had plenty of conjectural issues
come through and from Washington [for centuries]. However, agreeing to a budget seems to have become harder and
harder for Congress, as it seems as though they welcome the polarization.
It should be noted that the House votes and proposal to de-fund ObamaCare was a big waste of time and money, as it
had ALREADY been funded.
It should also be noted that ever since the passing of ObamaCare, the Republican-controlled House voted to repeal
ObamaCare 42 times.
It should also be noted that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is NOT President Obama's idea! Although I referred
to it as his "baby", he is not its originator but instead the credit belongs to Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, and later
adopted by former Massachusetts's governor Mitt Romney. Note that when Romney was running for president, he often
quipped that the idea was ridiculous. ("It takes some brass to attack guy for doing something you did.")
It should be noted that there is not a confrontation over government spending, but merely everything to do with an Obama-
win, which would be ObamaCare.
Republicans/Tea Party towards President Obama, this sort of childish
deception has been going on since President Obama took the helms.
They would propose an idea, President Obama would embrace their idea
and then they immediately disapprove - finding fault in their own idea! If
it is not hate, then what is it? ("It takes some brass to attack guy for
doing something you did.")
said, "It's pretty clear the American people expect us to use the
existing gridlock to create compromise and advance their agenda.
They want us to come together [with the administration] after we
agree to disagree."
BUT, Issa's remark suggested that they (Republicans) would have to occasionally agree with Obama, and that
exasperated Rush Limbaugh so much so, that he went on a tirade and sent angry e-mails and called Issa’s office. Later,
Issa quickly and publicly apologized to Limbaugh and promised only opposition to President Obama. As quoted from the
Global Public Square, "Now, all we have to do is multiply that example a thousand-fold, and you have the daily
dynamic of Congress."
Pat Toomey publicly stated why President Obama is having so many problems with Congress and that says A LOT about
how some of our politicians feel about President Barack Obama.
In regards to some Republicans on multiple occasions, President Obama has stated: "Privately, they agree with me but
they say, ' I'm worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the Tea Party back in my district. I'm
worried about what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about me on the radio. And so you've got to understand it's
really difficult." ("It takes some brass to attack guy for doing something you did.")
The Republicans are not dumb, but are in fact sensible, as they are counting on deceiving additional Fox News watchers
and Rush Limbaugh listeners.
at the National World War II Memorial. Witnesses watched as
approximately 350 elderly World War II Veterans approached along with
Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, Steve King and others. "The Red
Sea parted, the wheelchairs started rolling in," Gohmert told reporters
at the site on the National Mall. Bachmann said that the Veterans
deserved entry although the memorial had been shut down by Congress'
standoff over healthcare reforms. It was unclear how the Republican
lawmakers learned about the veterans' visit.
Randy Neugebauer said the park rangers should be ashamed that the government is shutdown. WHAT?!??!
Most if not all, conservative-controlled States hate President Obama and have setup alternate names for the ACA. For
example, instead of calling the new exchange as the ACA or ObamaCare, Kentucky renamed it "Kentucky Connect."
Kentuckians had already FULLY embraced ObamaCare, but some of them are confused and/or are in denial, as it is
President Obama's ObamaCare. While looking at the affordable exchanges, one Kentucky resident was heard saying to
another, "Oh, this is much better than ObamaCare." (DUH!)
ObamaCare so Washington had to do it. Now, those Americans seeking
insurance and obtain coverage, will now credit Washington, not their local
governor. I have no idea if the Conservative's action will backfire on
them, but it seems almost laughable that they are unknowingly forcing
ACORN out of hiding, as they are reaching those conservative voters
who want help with ObamaCare.
|The government is shut down while we are still suffering from the sequester and furloughs, and the debt-ceiling debate is
looming just around the corner.
What is next is unknown, or we could just ask our Republican/Tea Party-Controlled Congress, as they are the ones with
the power; power that runs our government.
Just one Party has the power to assist or destruct.
Just one Party has the power to order a government shutdown.
|In order for the government to reopen, Congress would need to pass budget-spending bill(s) to fund the government, and
President Obama has to agree and sign [the bill].
The government cannot or better yet, will not open until ObamaCare is off the table; ObamaCare is the holdup.
However, the disputable hate for President Obama started before ObamaCare and continued afterwards.
During the 2008, presidential race Sarah Palin convinced hers and John McCain's supporters that then democrat
presidential nominee Barack Obama was a terrorist.
In 2008, the issue of Obama's birthplace became an issue; initiated by some Democrats. However, when the Democrats
joined forces with Obama, the issue was almost dead until the GOP gave it life and the Birthers had a name a new GOP
home. When it was refuted, the GOP kept pushing the issue and it remains in the forefront today.
On the night of Obama's first inauguration, the Republicans held a meeting and "vowed" to make certain that America's
new president would not be successful. Moreover, their vow was taken seriously, as they purposefully failed to
compromise with President Obama on numerous occasions. They made demands of President Obama and he would all
too often give in. (Compromise was almost a foul word to many Americans.) However, when he would embrace their
plans, they would quickly find fault in them. It seemed as though they loathed anything that President Obama favored -
even if they implemented and favored it. (All too often President Obama supporters assumed he was weak for keeping
many of former president George Bush's plans and mimicking previous GOP ideas.)
Before President Obama would throw in his hat to seek reelection, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor said their "top
priority was making sure Obama was a one term President." And without a doubt, McConnell/Cantor and their
colleagues did their best in making sure they stayed atop of that priority. (Forget jobs for civilians and forget about
President Obama's jobs plan for the military.
When President Obama proposed a Bill to help lower student loan rates, Republicans vehemently opposed. However,
when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan ran against him, their idea to help college students was very similar to his.
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a self-identified Republican who was General Colin Powell's chief of staff during his time
as Secretary of State said, "Let me just be candid, my party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable
portion of my Party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his
character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and President, and everything to do with the
color of his skin. And that's despicable."
Sadly, their hate has caused America so much pain!
After less than just two days after the government shutdown, there were more than 17 Republicans who said they were
ready to pass a no-strings-attached Bill. Although the support is supposedly there [to end the shutdown], House Speaker
John Boehner has failed to put it to a vote. EVERYONE should be asking, WHY! I suppose the Republican/Tea Party
has proven their point. Of course, I am not sure what their point is, but if the votes are there, …well the only way to find
out it they are there, is to put it to a vote!
With all this childish and deceitful mess, we are here. People are not being paid, as the following is shutdown:
If the government shutdown continues, more than 23,000 children will not receive daycare subsidies for low-income
It is reported that 800,000 people are out of work due to the government shutdown, but that does not include the families.
In addition, there are other affects as well.
|Affects of a government shutdown
|Congress can - and in my opinion should - sign to reopen the government as soon as possible, but they are dragging their
feet while innocent people are being hurt. They could easily sign a presentable bill, but they have preferred to continue
their childish deceptive behavior and keep the government closed.
Those who are affected by the shutdown plus the 800,000 federal workers could easily be released from the pressure if
Congress would just stop demanding an end to ObamaCare, but that would hurt their pride.
It sounds too simple for the Republicans to do the right thing, but some (too many) of them are glad that the government is
shutdown. Seems sad and pathetic that our politicians are having fun at the expense of The People. We, The People are
their collateral damage.
In addition, Congress' actions are hurting our credibility around the world, as the world is continuously witnessing our
behavior - our misdeeds.
I have no idea how the 800,000 people are fairing during this government shutdown. I can only hope and pray that the
government shutdown ends today!
Although this is not the first time the government has shutdown, this is affecting real people TODAY! and the
Republican/Tea Party must stop this nonsense. They HAVE THE NUMBERS TO RE-OPEN!
It seems as though all Congress seems to do is govern from crisis to crisis and this must stop!
I cannot understand as to why people allow these neurotic folks to continue, as this is no way to govern The People of
|It may seem as though I have put all the blame on the conservatives/Republicans/Tea Party, but truthfully, President
Obama is liable.
The problem with President Obama
The problem with President Barack Obama is that during his first presidential campaign, he was feisty-fiery, but once in
office, he became docile. I think people missed that about him when he was fighting for the 99'ers.
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he used the word "compromise" entirely too much.
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he agreed to cut hundreds of billions in entitlement spending. It was a
compromise yet he received nothing in return.
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he compromised on previous budgets, yet he received nothing in return.
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he agreed to sequestration cuts, should they not find any other
compromise, which they did not. (Again, he received nothing in return.)
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he gave in to the demands to extend the Bush tax cuts for the
wealthy. If he did not acquiesced, The People would not have been able to enjoy the Christmas Holiday Seasons.
The problem with President Barack Obama is that after all his compromises, he did not hold them to their agreement;
allowing the Republican/Tea Party to refuse to honor those compromises and pay America's bills. (They wanted further
compromises to approve a CR to pay the bills they had already agreed to.)
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he walked into a mess and vigorously cleaned it up - perhaps too fast.
His rivals did not expect him to be able to do such a skillful and admirable job. Not only did they not expect it, but also
they were angrily surprised, as he made their Party appear incompetent. And oh, that can make a person very angry -
The problem with President Barack Obama is he kept Bush's NSA policies. He was caught and blamed for using a
former Republican president's tactics. (The Republican/Tea Party had some voters believing he should have been tarred
and feathered for doing such a thing - a thing that was previously used and embraced by their own Party!)
The problem with President Barack Obama is that he does not have the same loyalty from his Party as the Republicans
have for theirs.
Although President Obama is an well-educated man and a gifted speaker who knows when and when not to act, it poses
a problem - a problem for those that hate him. Because I deem myself a realist, I had often questioned why he sought
reelection. I knew he would continue to face problems with the Republican/Tea Party, and often wondered why he
would continue the pain. It has been painful for me to witness the hate. Notwithstanding, I will be the first to read his
tell-all about his presidential experience.
Through all the nonsense, he has finally told the Republican/Tea Party, 'I lost supporters after giving in to your every
whim - people hated me; they called me weak. But this time, you are talking about one of my many successes - you are
talking about taking away my baby, ObamaCare, but this time, it is not going to happen.' (Again, the Affordable Care Act
is not President Obama's idea.)
Again, SEVERAL of President Obama's plans were originated by Republicans. However, because he has embraced
Republican's plans, the Republicans are now rejecting them. Why is that? Were they bad or unworkable plans in the
beginning and now the Republicans can see the error in their original plans? Hmmm. I must consider the old adage 'a
wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.' That does happen. However, when President Obama changes the
plans to fit the concept of the originator, (the Republicans), the originator still finds fault.
Factually, the Republicans are resistant to any of President Obama's plans although they were constructed and
implemented by them first!
Why do Republicans hate their own plans?
Why does the Republicans/Tea Party hate President Barack Obama?
|While people's lives are at stake, the Republican/Tea Party, which is one in the same, is playing games. Well, actually,
they are "happy, " according to Michele Bachmann who said that the shutdown "was exactly what House Republicans
On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, Sean Hannity asked how concerned she was, Bachmann stated she was not worried..
She said, "...this is about the happiest I've seen members in a long time. We see we are starting to win this
dialogue on a national level."
Although Bachmann later recanted her remarks, she said her religious faith keeps her strong through the government
shutdown and implied that others should do the same. Her and SOME in the House have said that they would either have
their paid withheld, or donate all or a portion of their salary to charities that are assisting furloughed workers; some did not
return calls. Democrat Keith Ellison said he would keep pay. In a statement, he wrote: "If handing back pay would
help furloughed workers I would find a way to survive without pay, but of course it won’t. Only allowing a vote
on a clean continuing resolution will do that. The focus on Congressional pay is an attempt to draw attention
away from the issue."
It should be noted that Bachmann's net worth is approximately $1.05 million dollars with her millionaire constituents
matching and/or exceeding that abundance. Most of our politician's salaries are estimated at $174,000; the Speaker of the
House makes more at $223,500 a year.
Nonetheless, my main concern is the retroactive pay for those that are living paycheck to paycheck.
While I am always encouraging others to write their government officials, I put my own advice and wrote House Speaker
John Boehner. In my message I said:
Moreover, I am sure you are aware that you and your constituents are required by God's law to end this
It is okay that you hate President Obama, but you MUST put your aversion aside for the sake of the
people. The world is watching, and all Americans should be ashamed.
Mr. Boehner, it is my plea that you and your constituents do the right thing and work for the will of The
People. Again, this is not about you and your abhorrence towards President Obama, but you must do the
job you were hired to do and work in favor of The People.
Some people (namely Republican/Tea Party folks) have said that the worry over the shutdown is no big deal, as we have
witnessed more than one shutdown. In contrast, that just proves how out of touch they are with everyday people that
daily struggle for life's necessities. However, they are technically correct. The government has been shutdown 17
times. However, an extended shutdown has only happened once, and that was when Newt Gingrich acted like a child.
Newt Gingrich got upset when former president Bill Clinton did not speak
to him about the budget after a funeral in the Middle East. Gingrich felt
Clinton snubbed him.
welcomes ALL Americans, whereas the others only cherish those that
have money and look like them.
Republicans. Clinton's approval ratings fell, but once the shutdown was
over his ratings were the highest since his election.
hope commonsense Americans are paying attention and then Hillary
Clinton will be able to take the realm and finish Obama's plans on helping
the 99. (I do not know if Mrs. Clinton is definitely throwing her hat into
the ring, but I can pray and hope, as it is indeed time for a woman to lead
The last time this happened, 28 long days hurt American's salaries. Thankfully, salaries were retroactive. However, this
time, Congress has not approved it.
The last time this happened, well… the last time this happened, SOME of our congressional members had a nonchalant
attitude as to how this was affecting working families. This time, we have the same apathetic congressional folks
yammering the same thing such as Congressman Blake Farenthold who said, "Well, they will get their money
eventually"…once the shutdown is over. Others have stammered to answered the question, "Do you know that you
are still being paid while 800,000 are not?"
|The last time this happened there was not a dramatic shakeup in seats, but hopefully Democrats will gain more seats in
California, Virginia and Florida, as well as all the others that have benefited due to ObamaCare.
I have no idea if the conservative's actions will backfire on them, but it seems almost laughable that they are unknowingly
forcing ACORN out of hiding, as they are reaching those conservative voters who want help with ObamaCare.
No matter what President Obama wants and/or agrees to compromise, the Republican/Tea Party Congress invariably
disagrees. They claim to negotiate with President Obama, but I believe they are confused as to how negotiations work.
Their idea of negotiating is that they receive everything they want while President Obama obtains nothing. Negotiations
only work when each side gives up something without breaching each other's principles. It does NOT work when one
side gives up something and the other side gives up nothing. I believe it is not only time to learn the meaning of the word
"negotiate," but also ethics.
President Obama could walk on water, revive the dead, cure cancer and all deadly diseases, wipeout world hunger,
implement a plan to end the deficit for infinity and bring about peace to the entire world. However, the Republican/Tea
Party would find something wrong with his actions, as it would not be about what he did and how he did it, but instead it
would be about who he is.
When former president George W. Bush first announced his presidency, he received accolades from all over the
Country. Media outlets on the right were excited and the left provided information for those who did not know his
background. It was not until later that both the left and right made fun of his shortcomings, however with Barack Obama,
it was different. Since the day he announced his candidacy, people on both sides called him derogatory names. Although
candidates receive secret service protection, candidate Obama had to receive protection 6 months early; it was the first
time for any presidential candidate.
"The demographics race we’re losing badly," Lindsey Graham told the Washington Post on Wednesday, August 29,
2012. "We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."
Whatever that was supposed to mean, I do not know. But what I do know, is that we need to generate enough Black,
White, Red, Green and Yellow, men and women who can honestly and willfully work for The People.
The major budget conflict was because Ford vetoed a funding bill for the Departments of Labor and
Health, Education, and Welfare arguing that it failed to restrain spending adequately.
The stalemate ended when Congress overrode Ford's veto ending funding gaps for other parts of
government became law.
controlled both Houses.
The House insisted on continuing the ban on using Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions except in
cases where the life of the mother was at stake. The Senate wanted to loosen the law to include
allowances for abortions in the case of rape, incest or when the mother's health was in danger.
Because the issue had become tied to funding for labor, health, education and welfare, they failed to
The Medicaid ban was continued until Monday, October 31; giving them more time to work out a
controlled both Houses.
Not enough time had elapsed since the temporary measure ending the shutdown passed for the
abortion standoff to be resolved.
The shutdown ended when Carter signed a temporary bill that allowed more time for Congress to
resolve its abortion dispute.
Jimmy Carter was president and Democrats controlled both Houses.
The second shutdown on Thursday October 13, 1977 was meant to allow more time for negotiation.
The House rejected a Senate proposal that would have allowed for Medicaid to pay for abortions by
victims of statutory rape. House conservatives rejected it as too lax and House liberals as too tough on
rape victims. California Democrat Representative George Miller asked on the House floor, "What
happens in Fort Apache [South Bronx], where a girl is gang-raped and told she will be killed if she
The stalemate ended when it was agreed to allow Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases where the
mother's life is endangered and included abortions resulting from rape or incest. It also included it
would be necessary to protect the mother's health even if her life was not endangered.
Jimmy Carter was president and Democrats controlled both Houses.
Congress passed a defense bill including funding for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, but Carter
judged that carrier wasteful and vetoed it. He also vetoed a public works appropriations bill because of
water projects that he considered wasteful pork. In addition, spending for health, education and
welfare was again delayed over a dispute concerning funding for abortion.
A new defense bill, excluding funding for the carrier, was passed, as was a new public works bill
excluding the water projects Carter opposed. The previous year's compromise solution on abortion, in
which funding was reserved for cases of rape, incest and jeopardy to the mother's health, was agreed
to in both Houses.
President Jimmy Carter and Democrats controlled both Houses.
The House wanted to raise congressional and senior civil servant pay by 5.5 percent, which the Senate
opposed. The lower House also wanted to limit federal abortion spending to cases where the mother's
life was in danger, while the Senate wanted to keep funding in cases of rape, incest, and when the
mother's health is in serious jeopardy. The dispute was not resolved before a partial shutdown.
The House got its pay increases but had to allow abortion funding in cases of rape or incest (but not
when the mother's health, rather than life, was in danger). The latter was a slight tightening of the
previous year's Medicaid abortion compromise.
Ronald Reagan was president, the Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled
Reagan promised to veto any spending bill that did not include at least half of his proposed $8.4 billion
in domestic budget cuts. The Senate passed a bill that met his specifications, but the House insisted on
both greater defense cuts than Reagan wanted and pay raises for itself and for senior-level federal civil
servants. Eventually, the House and Senate agreed to and passed a package that fell $2 billion short of
the cuts Reagan wanted, so Reagan vetoed it and shut down the government.
The House and Senate passed, and Reagan signed, a bill extending current spending through December
15, giving them time to work out a longer-lasting deal.
Ronald Reagan was president, the Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled
Actually, there was no reason to shutdown the government, as Congress just had not passed new
spending in time, and so parts of the government were forced to shut down. While there were some
disagreements over spending levels between the House and Senate and the administration, the reason
the former did not pass the bill before a shutdown was that they had other plans.
The House and Senate passed spending bills late, and Reagan signed them despite the fact that they
exceeded his desired spending levels.
Ronald Reagan was president. Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled Congress.
House and Senate negotiators want to fund $5.4 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, in public works
spending to create jobs, but the Reagan administration threatened to veto any spending bill that
included jobs money. The House also opposed funding the MX missile program, a major defense
priority of Reagan's.
The House and Senate abandoned their jobs plans but declined to fund the MX missile, or the Pershing
II missile (which was a medium-range missile, while the MX was intercontinental). They also
provided funding for the Legal Services Corp., which provides legal support for poor Americans
(Reagan had wanted abolished) and increased foreign aid to Israel above what Reagan wanted. While
Reagan criticized these moves, he grudgingly signed the bill following a short shutdown.
Ronald Reagan was president. Republicans controlled the Senate and the Democrats controlled
House Democrats passed an amendment adding close to $1 billion in education spending. They also
cut foreign aid below what Reagan wanted, adding money for Israel and Egypt but cutting it
substantially for Syria and El Salvador, and cut defense spending by about $11 billion relative to
Reagan's request. The dispute was not resolved before a short shutdown could occur.
House Democrats agreed to reduce their education spending request to about $100 million. They also
funded the MX missile, which they had successfully cut funding for during the last shutdown battle.
However, they kept their foreign aid, defense cuts, and got a ban on oil and gas leasing in federal
animal refuges. The spending bill also added a ban on using federal employee health insurance to fund
abortions, except when the mother's life was in danger, similar to the ban already in place for
Medicaid. It was not as partisan an issue at the time; it was a win for anti-abortion members of both
parties and a loss for pro-choice Democrats and Republicans.
Ronald Reagan was president. Republicans controlled the Senate while Democrats controlled
Passage of a spending bill was complicated by the House linking it to a crime-fighting package (which
Reagan wanted) and a water projects package (which he opposed), and the Senate's tying it to a civil
rights measure (which Reagan also opposed) that would have reversed a Supreme Court ruling
weakening civil rights requirements on universities receiving federal funds. Reagan offered to forgo
his crime bill in exchange for junking the water package and the civil rights provision, but a deal was
not reached in time to avoid a brief shutdown.
A three-day spending extension was passed and signed so that the parties could keep negotiating.
Ronald Reagan was president. Republicans controlled the Senate while Democrats controlled
The three-day extension was not long enough.
Congress relented and the water projects were stripped from a spending bill, as was the civil rights
measure. They passed a crime package along Reagan's desired lines. A compromise was worked out
on funding for the Nicaraguan Contras (which emerged as an issue in the course of the negotiations,
despite not initially being a cause of the shutdowns), wherein the anti-Sandinista forces could be
funded until early the following year.
Ronald Reagan was president. The Republicans controlled the Senate while the Democrats controlled
The brief shutdown followed several disagreements between Reagan and the Democrat-controlled
House. There was a provision to ban companies from creating subsidiaries to get around labor
contracts, another requiring that half the goods and labor used in offshore oil rigs be American in
origin, and one that would have expanded Aid to Families with Dependent Children, which is what
welfare was known as at the time. All of those were policies supported by House Democrats and
opposed by Reagan and Senate Republicans. The dispute was not resolved in time to avoid a
House Democrats gave up a number of their demands, and secured a promise for a vote on their
welfare expansion, and in return passed appropriations necessary to reopen the government.
Republicans, meanwhile, offered a concession related to the government's sale of Conrail, a then-
Ronald Reagan was president and Democrats controlled both Houses.
Reagan and congressional Democrats could not agree on funding for the Nicaraguan "Contra" militants
in time to avoid a shutdown. Additionally, Democrats pushed for a provision reinstating the "Fairness
Doctrine," which required that broadcasters give equal airing to both sides in political disputes, and
which the FCC had recently stopped enforcing at the time.
Democrats yielded on the Fairness Doctrine, and a deal was worked out wherein non-lethal aid was
provided to the Contras.
George H. W. Bush was president and Democrats controlled both Houses.
Bush refused to sign any Continuing Resolution into law unless it was paired with a deficit reduction
plan, and backed up the pledge by vetoing one that made it to his desk. The House failed to override
his veto and the conflict was not resolved before a shutdown.
The House and Senate adopted a joint budget resolution that provided an outline for reducing the
deficit, and Bush then signed.
Bill Clinton was president and Republicans controlled both Houses.
The GOP-run Congress sent Clinton a Continuing Resolution that would have raised Medicare
premiums, committed the president to balance the budget within seven years, and curtailed
environmental regulations, among other provisions, but he refused. Their differences resulted from
differing estimates of economic growth, medical inflation, and anticipated revenues. When Clinton
refused to cut the budget in the way Republicans wanted, Gingrich threatened to refuse to raise the
debt limit, which would have caused the United States Treasury to suspend funding other portions of
the government to avoid putting the country in default.
The shutdown ended when Clinton, Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole reached an agreement to fund the
government at 75 percent levels for four weeks while budget negotiations continued. Clinton also
agreed to the seven-year balanced budget timeline. Workers furloughed during the shutdown were
given back pay.
Clinton was president and Republicans controlled both Houses.
Republican leaders demanded that the White House propose a seven-year budget plan that balanced
when using the CBO's economic forecasts, rather than the OMB's, which were more optimistic. The
plan Clinton proposed still produced a $115 billion deficit in seven years according to CBO numbers,
even as the OMB estimated that it would balance the budget by then. The dispute was not resolved
before the continuing resolution agreed to a month earlier.
Republicans caved, and passed legislation to keep the government open. Clinton, in turn, submitted a
budget plan that the CBO said balanced the budget within seven years.
It was later reported that the shutdown influenced the 1996 presidential election. Bob Dole, the Senate
Majority Leader, was running for President in 1996 and wanted to solve the budget crisis in January
1996 despite the willingness of other Republicans to continue the shutdown unless their demands were
met. In particular, as Gingrich and Dole had been seen as potential rivals for the 1996 presidential
nomination. The shutdown has also been cited as having a role in Clinton's successful re-election in
1996. The Republican Party had a net loss of three seats in the House in the 1996 elections but
retained a 227-206 seat majority. In the Senate, Republicans gained two seats.
|Before the government shutdown, the Republican/Tea Party said that they would keep the government open if the
Senate's budget did not include ObamaCare, but the Senate refused to omit it. (Neither Senate Democrats nor President
Obama would agree.)
The ACA/ObamaCare was the hardest major piece of legislation to be passed into law since Medicare, Medicaid and
Social Security. (Each being implemented by Democrats and all three work successfully.) Although former president Bill
Clinton tried to push for better health care, President Obama finally got it done. I used to ask when was a Republican
going to implement affordable health care for the entire Nation, but I failed to recall that they did not have the votes to
enact their own health care reform three years ago.
More than once, President Obama has proven that the people are his number one priority, and one would think that
Congress would work to help him better our economy, but instead they self-proclaimed him as their competition in gaining
power. When will they learn that it is not about them, but a better and stronger America?