GOP listens to constituents

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  • Porter is a junior international studies major from Zebulon Ga.

Amber Porter

As we enter the second week of the partial government shutdown, many people still haven’t noticed. Unfortunately, more than 800,000 government employees and their families have noticed. Last Tuesday, Congress could not agree to a bill that would fund the government. A week later, nothing has changed. For those of you who have no idea what this means, any entity that receives government funds must close, with exceptions for those relating to national security or those that are essential services such as veterans hospitals or Social Security.

If you find yourself asking how this could happen, it is quite simple. Every year, Congress must pass appropriation bills to fund all government agencies. If they cannot agree on these bills, then Congress will pass what is known as Continuing Resolutions. CRs simply continue the spending allowed in the previously agreed upon budget. In the spring, Congress went through the same process. Almost all of the calls I received while working on Capitol Hill during the debate complained about how we were funding Obamacare in these resolutions.

This time, House Republicans decided to listen to their constituents who have already felt the impact of the new healthcare law. They proposed a spending bill that would delay the healthcare law for one more year, while funding the government for a few more months so they can debate appropriations bills. Although President Obama and Senate Democrats refused to agree on this proposal, they have also not looked at any of the eight bills passed by the House over the past week. They have refused to negotiate at all. The House met the Saturday before the deadline, while the Senate has made no extreme effort to resolve this. Unfortunately, the shutdown is being blamed on House Republicans even though it takes both sides negotiating to create a solution. Both sides are pointing fingers and using this as an opportunity to campaign for hopeful presidential nominations. Playing politics over 800,000 employees’ lives is ridiculous. People do not care who is to blame; they care about a solution.

18 years ago, the government was in the same predicament. We bounced back then, and I know we will this time.