In a completely non-startling move, the Senate voted against a fourth plan put forth by the House to defund Obamacare in order to stop the government shutdown.
The deadline to actually avoid the shutdown came at midnight last night. When America woke up this morning, it realized that Congress was still plagued by ineptitude, and the government had indeed shutdown.
Despite failing to convince the Senate to defund the Affordable Care Act (An act that became law in 2010.) 3 previous times, House Republicans believed that a fourth effort would be successful if they only included a negotiating committee to reach a compromise with the healthcare law.
The Senate voted 54-46 against approving the House bill, straight down party lines. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that the Senate was willing to talk negotiations with the bill, but not "with a gun to our head."
In even more fantastically antagonistic rhetoric, Reid said that today was "a good day for anarchists" in the House of Representatives, and that "Speaker Boehner and his band of Tea Party radicals, they have done the unthinkable. They have shut down the federal government. For us, that's hard to comprehend as being good. For them, they like it."
Many Democratic leaders, such as Senator Dick Durbin (D - Il.) have voiced the opinion that they would be willing to talk numbers regarding the ACA and compromise on certain aspects, but that they would not vote to defund the law. The main issue on which Democrats are willing to negotiate is a tax on medical devices, something that could save $30 billion in lost revenue over 10 years.
Despite the fact that Obamacare is not directly tied to federal funding, many radical Republicans and Tea Party members insists that its defunding is the key to creating a sustainable US budget. Republican Representative Todd Rokita, of Indiana, even went as far as to say that the Affordable Care Act is the "is the most insidious law known to man," without stating why, of course.
Because of the lack of political responsibility in DC, 800,000 government employees will be furloughed, hundreds of government institutions will be closed, and the United States could lose around $55 billion if the issue isn't resolved in 3-4 weeks.
While the rhetoric of Harry Reid is great in its incendiary nature (Here is another one: "Albert Einstein said when defining insanity as follows, quote, 'Doing the same thing over and over again and thinking you're going to get a different result. Einstein was a genius, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the proof is watching the House Republicans, because they've lost their minds."), the rhetoric of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell is just as interesting.
Boehner stated "How can we give waivers and breaks to all the big union guys out there? How do we give breaks to all the big businesses out there, and yet stick our constituents with a bill they don't want and a bill they can't afford?" Except for the fact that the Affordable Care Act was passed as a law in 2010, meaning that a majority of Congress voted in favor of the law, and despite the fact that no proof has been given as to the fact that constituents cannot afford it, seeing as the bill has yet to be implemented (and the fact that it is designed to save Americans money over the long-run).
Mitch McConnell's words of wisdom are just as ignorant, stating that "They've now said they won't even agree to sit down and work out our differences. They won't even talk about it. They literally just voted against working out a compromise." What McConnell fails to recognize is that there is nothing to compromise about - As Obama himself has stated, via his Twitter account, "The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. You can't shut it down."
The President is exactly right. Regardless of whether or not the government is shutdown, the Affordable Care Act is slated to take effect in 2014. Applications to apply for the program opened today. The Republicans are not going to make progress attempting to stop a law that has already been voted and agreed upon, and has been deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court. Instead, they should focus their efforts on defunding some other inane government expenditure. Perhaps some portion of the monstrous Defense budget...? Just a suggestion.
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