Government Shutdown
What Happened On The Hill

Nov. 6, 2013

    Are you a Democrat or Republican? Lately, that’s the only thing that seems to matter in Congress during this time; the parties which make up most of Congress have been using partisan behavior. On October 1st 2013, the government “shut down.” However, the government wasn’t shut down completely, pay checks were still being mailed out, our army was still functional, and multiple government agencies were still open. According to the Constitution, Congress must pass a fiscal federal budget for the fiscal federal year. (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014). The Republicans had proposed a plan which was attached to a spending bill that was to eliminate funding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ,or otherwise known as Obamacare, in order to fund the rest of the government. The Senate shot it down, eliminating the provision and sent it back down to the House. In response, the Republicans changed their provision to delay “Obamacare” for a year and the Democratically-controlled Senate didn’t even consider it. Both the House (Republican-controlled) and Senate (Democrat-controlled) couldn’t reach an agreement, thus making the federal government “shut down.”
    Throughout those two weeks, Democrats and Republicans kept tossing the blame between the two parties. Key Republican player Ted Cruz stated, “Regardless, my focus- and  I would hope, the focus of the rest of the conference – is on stopping Harry Reid’s  shut down, ensuring that vital government.” Democratic Jim Himes responded, “Think about the precedent. What’s next? What if the Democratic extreme said ‘well we’re not going to sign a budget unless you do away with assault weapons?’ What if we’re not going to have a budget unless 20 people around here decide that everybody under the age of 40 should wear a tin hat around?”
    Republicans and Democrats never seem to try and reach across the aisle and negotiate with each other. They will never try and reach a middle, which would satisfy both parties just a little. It’s only their way or the highway. And this problem is and can be present everywhere in the political spectrum. As a result of this petty behavior, the current Congress holds one of the lowest approval rates in history. Only 12 percent of the country believes that Congress is doing their jobs.
    Finally on October 16th, Congress pulled through a spending bill which will sufficiently fund them through February. This question is, will they be able to make a resolution when they have to do this all over again? 

>photo by: Jeanne Menjoulet

>photos by: Mount Rainier NPS