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Writer's Post Network Blog: The American Civil War 2.0 - Tea Party against Stupid

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 6:35 PM Books - Writing - Fashion Tips & Tricks

The Republican Party’s Craven Hold Up on Capitol Hill

To Crash the Economy or De-fund the Affordable Health Care Act

House Speaker John Boehner (Rep. Ohio)

House Speaker John Boehner
The 2010 Affordable Health Care ActOnce the newly elected president and Democratic majority Senate steered the country away from the “Fiscal Cliff” the Tea Party Republicans dragged the country through in early January 2013, the Republicans set a new series of roadblocks and manufactured crisis in their effort to take the country to the brink. In 2011, President Obama negotiated a continuing budget resolution with the Republicans in order to avoid a government shutdown. Even then, the Republicans were so determined to either derail the economy or shut down the government that by the time they reached an agreement on the budget, the country’s credit rating was downgraded from a triple “A” rating to a minus. At that time, the President negotiated the so-called sequester with the Republicans in good faith, with the idea that the cuts in the budget sequester were so severe that the Republicans in Congress would never allow them to go into effect automatically, without making some effort to manage those cuts in order to avoid hurting the most vulnerable American citizens. Before the sequester took effect in the spring, budget wonks and analysts estimated that those cuts would take away food from the hungry and the elderly by cutting funds from critical programs, such as meals on wheels and food stamps. compiled the following figures:

171,900 people would not have AIDS medication, resulting in 39,200 deaths and 77,200 more children becoming orphans
1.2 million fewer insecticide-treated mosquito nets, leading to over 3,200 deaths from malaria
836,800 fewer Pentavalent vaccines would be available for children, resulting in 8,900 more deaths from completely preventable diseases

Tea Party Caucus

House of Representatives Tea Party CaucusAs of today, we are in a brand new crisis. For the federal government, the fiscal year ends on September 30 each year. Therefore, Congress is mandated under the Constitution to pass a budget to cover the government’s expenses for the new fiscal year. This budget includes all expenditures from the Pentagon to social security and federal employees. Congress has been threatening for months to shut down the government unless the President agreed to one concession or another. But an interesting happened. This year, the end of the federal government fiscal year happens to coincide with the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act. For decades, Washington has tried unsuccessfully to find a solution to cover the millions of Americans who have been uninsured. As the cost of health insurance skyrocketed, the number of uninsured Americans increased, and hospital emergency rooms became the main avenue by which most of the uninsured received health care services. There are many reasons why a person may not have health care coverage. Many young people get thrown off their parents’ health insurance once they turn eighteen. Insurance companies had been free to deny coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, and sometimes simply suspended coverage for people who are sick after they have used a certain amount of coverage. The price of not having health care coverage adds up to a life and death situation. 

Election 2012 MapEven though hospitals are mandated by federal law to take care of patients who need critical care, regardless of their ability to pay, they are not required to do any more than may be necessary to save a patient’s life. As a result, a person who shows up in the emergency room sick, but not in critical condition, will receive treatment but also sent a bill to pay out of pocket. The costs of health care have driven many people into bankruptcy. In addition, individuals without medical insurance are more likely to suffer from fatal conditions that do not get discovered early enough for doctors to save their lives. In 2010, the Democrats were able to pass the Affordable Health Care Act, which is one of the agenda items that President Obama ran on during the 2008 presidential election and again in 2012. The Republicans are clearly attempting to implement the failed and repudiated agenda that their Congressional candidates and Mitt Romney offered to the country last November.

While the president was being inaugurated in January 2009, the Republicans were making plans to torpedo his administration. The Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell said openly,“ our first priority is to make President Obama a one-term president.” In 2010, the Republicans joined hands with their rising Tea Party flank, a toxic mix of non-Republican Republicans and hang their hat on the Affordable Health Care Act, which they called “Obamacare.” They misled the electorate about the law: It’s a job-killer; it’s socialism; it’s taking away your freedom; it’s a train wreck; it has 2000 pages; the IRS is going to decide if you should live or die; the will be death panels. None of it is true. In fact, now that the law is ready to go into effect, Republicans have been desperately telling Americans to not sign up for health care. Those Republicans could not care less if you were to get sick and did not have health insurance. But they poisoned the atmosphere enough to win the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections.

Republican Radicals - The Party of NoAs we approached a deadline for funding the government, right-wing Tea Party Republicans demanded that their leaderless House Speaker John Boehner de-fund the Health Care Law as a condition for funding the government. Boehner is a speaker in name only. Since 2010, he has had absolutely no control whatsoever over the Southern band of Tea Party radical Congressmen who were sent to Washington from their districts to do one thing and one thing only, that is to disrupt and topple the government of the United States. These so-called lawmakers do not believe in education, science, mathematics, or democracy. Today, one of their colleagues said on MSNBC that “they [Tea Party Republicans] led people to believe that they can de-fund the President’s Health Care Law; That’s not intellectually honest.” The truth is that those right-wingers have neither the intellect nor the honesty to realize that they are working against the interests of the country, never mind their constituencies. 

On Thursday, Boehner (R-Ohio) tried a last minute maneuver to get his wild flock to let go of their fight to defund the Health Care Act or shut down the government. He offered them to wait and start the same fight over again when it comes time to raise the federal debt limit to pay the government’s bill by the October 17 deadline. Boehner was trying to weasel his way out of this fabricated emergency that blood thirsty Republicans have created for the country as a whole. But the hard-liners in his Tea Party caucus refused to budge. The House sent a bill to the Senate with provisions to defund the Affordable Health Care Law. When the bill reached the Senate, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) threw a temper tantrum. Cruz took to the Senate floor and held a ridiculous filibuster for nearly twenty hours, only to join the rest of the body and vote to advance a new Senate bill, which stripped the health care defunding language after which the bill passed the Senate. The new bill has been sent back to the House of Representatives, but at this time, no one believes that the House will have sufficient time to vote on a bill to fund the government before the deadline at midnight October 1st. Cruz’ action prompted Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to take to the Senate floor and accused Cruz of blocking the vote and delaying it until Friday so he could “turn this into a show” for his supporters from the Tea Party movement and conservative political organizations.

President Obama has publicly stated that he will not negotiate over paying the country’s debt, or while the country is being held hostage by right-wing Republicans. The President called the Republicans’ threat to shut down the government "irresponsible." President Barack Obama repeated Thursday that he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling and will not sign any bill that defunds or delays the health-care law. He directly denounced the Republicans for what he said were tactics that would endanger the full faith and credit of the country. "You don't mess with that," he said in a speech in Largo, Md. The US News headlined the platform upon which the Republicans are fighting tooth and nails to defund the President’s Affordable Health Care Law as, “The Imaginary threat of the Budget Deficit.” In an article today in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Schlesinger quoted Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning, writing:   

There was an election
Elections have consequences in a democratic republic
Photo_heritage foundation 
Tea Party Meeting “The federal budget deficit narrowed from more than 10 percent of the gross domestic product at the end of 2009 to 5.7 percent of GDP for the 12 months ended March 31 -- the smallest gap in four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With tax collections rising and spending growth slowing down, the deficit is on track to drop to 4 percent of the $16 trillion U.S. GDP for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, according to a May forecast by the Congressional Budget Office. It will shrink to 3.4 percent of GDP next year, the Congressional Budget Office - CBO says, close to the 3.3 percent average over the past 30 years,” [according to Bloomberg data].

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if the debt ceiling isn't raised, the government will be unable to pay all its obligations sometime in late October.

What a Government Shutdown Would Mean                                                                       
Government Shutdown
Looking back on the Clinton Era government shutdown in 1995- 1996, a government shutdown would result in the suspension of certain services provided by the federal government, and in a delay in others. The longer the shutdown lasts, the more significantly the consequences may be felt, and the more far-reaching those effects may be. In a government shutdown, services that are considered “essential” remain open. Those include:  police, fire fighting, armed forces, utilities and corrections.
Social Security Checks will go out
Public safety and national security: open
All other government services will shut down
Coastal service: open
Medicare and Medicaid payments delayed
National parks closed
Military pay delayed or shutdown
Federal employees furloughed

The House of Representatives is scheduled to remain in session this weekend to take up the bill the Senate sent them today. In response to the Senate passage of the continuing resolution to keep the government open until November, House Speaker John Boehner said, "I do not see that happening," meaning passing a bill in the House that the President can sign in time to prevent a government shutdown. It has become evident that the Republicans never had any ideas about how to govern, but yet they have run out of the zero idea that they have had. The in-fighting among the Republicans has been bloody; it has been an all-out war between moderate Republicans and right-wingers. They have been splattering blood from the South to Capitol Hill, so they are trying to bloody the President in the process. Boehner said he did not expect a government shutdown and many moderate GOP lawmakers are anxious to avoid one. They obviously fear that voters will blame the Republican Party for the consequences of a shutdown, similar to what happened when radical Republicans, under former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, shut down the government in 1995-1996 during the Clinton administration. As of this writing, it is not clear whether or not the House of Representatives will be able to free itself from the dead weight of the Tea Party carcass in order to pass a bill that the President can sign to keep the government functioning, even at the level of the minimalists in the GOP. 

Categories: Right Wing Politics & President Obama

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