On Friday, September 27, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) returned a “clean” spending resolution bill back to the House, minus the defunding of Obamacare. Despite the neat euphemism, Reid is playing dirty political games by ignoring the will of the American People, voiced by the populist House of Representatives.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a strictly bipartisan bill which would fund the government until December 15. They included a provision which would defund Obamacare. Without this continued funding, the federal government will shut down on October First until another resolution passes. The House of Representatives is balancing fiscal reforms with pragmatic resolutions. Respecting the fact that they cannot govern from their chamber only, House Republicans have issued spending bills and continuing resolutions with much-needed, piecemeal reforms. The US Senate must pass a budget. Lawmakers who fail to do so will forgo their pay until they provide a budget.
In support of the lower chamber’s efforts, US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) rallied for almost twenty-two hours on Tuesday on the Senate floor to resist cloture on amendments to the House bill. His stirring, winding speech reminded voters, and the Democrats, that Obamacare is causing more harm than good for the United States of America – and it’s the Democrats fault. Despite open disagreements from Establishment Republicans with Cruz’ tactics, eighteen conservatives voted against cloture on Friday.
Reid has disparaged his junior colleagues Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) for filibustering nominations and blocking appropriations legislation. The younger caucus of Republicans is channeling not just the growing libertarian beat among conservatives, but the overwhelming, Main Street outrage with K Street back-scratching and bipartisan spending sprees.
Now the Republicans are pressing for delays of Obamacare. In a limited sense, the House is granting the President legal authority to do something which he attempted to accomplish on his own.
As a reminder, calculating history, political science, and simple economics and taxation, only the non-essential functions of government will cease in the event of a government shutdown, until further funding notice. Essential services and payments will be released in conjunction with the ongoing revenue streams flowing into Washington from state coffers. Yet Reid has argued that a government shutdown would induce immense harm on the American people. Reid had already festered economic problems by passing Obamacare, which has forced businesses to cut hours, lay off workers, and close their doors for good in many cases.
Despite Boehner and his caucus’ best efforts to respect the wishes of the American people, Senate Majority Reid and his Democratic caucus have chosen to defend Obama’s faltering legacy. Standing next to another countdown clock, Reid upbraided Republican lawmakers, including the “fringe” Tea Party wing, which has in fact articulated the growing mainstream outrage with Washington Big Government getting bigger. He bitterly denounced any reforms, absent-mindedly referring to the medical device tax as “stupid”.
The House of Representatives has just taken Reid’s “clean” continuing resolution, and is now adding language which will delay Obamacare implementation for a year, along with a repeal of the “stupid” medical device tax, a levy which even the Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren opposed.
Senate Majority Leader Reid has already announced that he will reject the House’s upcoming continuing resolution, even though the bill has not yet left the House.
“Dirty” Harry has played out his hand. The government will shut down if he refuses to yield, and it will be his fault.
Still, Reid takes to task his Republican colleagues, when they are taking Washington away from lobbyists, special interests, and backroom deal-makers. Reid has been reading the riot act, so to speak, to his conservative counterparts, frustrated that they no longer play along with a Washington culture of spend now, glad-hand later. Not content to tell his constituents that he voted against Obamacare, Cruz wanted to stop the law for good.
Unable to get support from their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives have drafted more specific provisions. Any rejection on the part of Democrats in the US Senate will signal their true interests: keep Washington spending, keep Obamacare rolling, and keep Americans wondering whether they will have a fiscally sound future.
It will be Reid’s fault for not respecting the will of the American people. He is embracing a government shut-down instead of delaying an increasingly unpopular law, one which the President has attempted to roll back unilaterally.
Reid has ignored the will of the voters since the passage of Obamacare in 2010. His reconciliation procedures shoved the bill through the House of Representatives on a Sunday evening in March. His caucus met with hostility and opprobrium throughout the United States as Republicans took back the House in 2010, along with making significant gains in the US Senate (including the sudden removal of Wisconsin progressive Russ Feingold).
While grand-standing on Republican obstructionism, Reid has done nothing to enact immigration reform, has not passed a responsible budget, and has stood against responsible fiscal management in the United States Senate.
If the government shuts down for lack of funding on Tuesday, October, it will be your fault, Harry Reid!