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Government shutdown risk looms again

By Staff | Sep 27, 2013

It’s like deja vu all over again, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the President, are bracing for another fight, one that could, if not resolved by October 1, shut down the federal government.

This time, however, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is a centerpiece in the fight. Since the over 40 votes in the House to repeal Obamacare have been little more than symbolic votes, Republicans have now begun a new tactic: defund Obamacare or the government shuts down and the nation defaults on its financial obligations. If a continuing resolution passes, then Republicans will tie Obamacare-defunding legislation to raising our nation’s debt ceiling, which would need to be done by mid-October.

A July poll indicated that only 39% of Americans support Obamacare. (It kind of helps when those against it spend more on advertising than those who support it.) However, a recent CNBC poll showed that Americans are against defunding it if doing so means shutting down the government. Out of 800 surveyed, 44% opposed defunding vs. 38%. When asked if they’ll support or oppose defunding Obamacare if it means shutting down the government and risking default, 59% opposed vs 19% supported (18% were unsure).

The Daily Finance report on the CNBC poll breaks it down further. 56% of men, 47% of women, 48% of Republicans, and 65% of Independents oppose defunding Obamacare if it means a government shutdown.

A CNN/ORC poll found that 51% of Americans will blame Republicans in Congress if the government shuts down. (A third would blame President Obama.) In reality this looks bad for both sides, especially when it affects ALL constituents, not just 800 in a survey.

You want to go to Yellowstone? In a government shutdown, you won’t be able to because national parks, zoos and museums will be closed. Need a passport and or a visa? Your application may not be processed. You’re in the military? You won’t be paid actual cash until the shutdown is over. You want a gun permit? That may not be processed. You live in Washington, D.C.? Your trash, all 500 tons of it produced weekly, according to the Washington Post, won’t be collected. You want a business loan, a new student loan, or a home loan? You’re gonna wait. You’re a federal employee? Odds are you won’t be working. You want Social Security? Your application may not be processed. You want to file with Veterans Affairs or Medicare (if you haven’t already)? Your application may not be processed. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention won’t be monitoring diseases. And, not to mention, the Stock Market will be taking hits, and foreign investors will question our nation’s investment security.

Even if Congress and the President manage to avert a government shutdown, even if they manage to raise the debt ceiling, it’s a victory that they shouldn’t be, and we shouldn’t be, proud of.

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