As I typed this on Thursday night, and edited on Saturday, we are approaching a week of government shutdown. Currently it is day 5. This all started when the House did not pass a matching spending bill as the Senate. The big stink was all about delaying the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare (yes they are one in the same) and basically undo the law in general. It’s such a BIG deal to the Republicans that they refused to pass a bill without it attached. And now there appears to be far less compromise as the week goes on, and more finger pointing, on all sides.
I will fully admit that I like the Affordable Care Act, I am sure there are some flaws in it (I have not read the law in its entirety), and supporters of the law say that too, but on principle I think it’s a good thing. As someone that had to shop around for health care pre-marriage, and chose to buy healthcare and not pay my student loans myself (thanks mom and dad for paying my portion for that year) – the fact that it could be less expensive is great. And that it could drive healthcare costs down, fantastic! But that’s not my point of this post. My point is that we have elected people that aren’t working together. They are actually pretty excited about the fact that they shut the government down, which is impacting a lot of people.
Some plus side to it: they did pass a bill to pay members of the military during a shutdown, which is great, but a lot of government employees aren’t getting paid. And I know at least one service member I know feels guilty that military is getting paid and everyone else isn’t. There are many people working without pay, like the Capitol Police that responded to an incident that resulted in a shooting. There are even more people just not working that aren’t sure if they’ll get paid. And Congress believes government workers should get back pay for this time off, so why did we shutdown?
And there are a lot of places closed. Like all national parks and monuments. Some World War II vets went past barricades to go to the memorial, despite the fact that it’s closed. My friend is on a cross-country trip/PCS and is changing their plans on the fly. But the worst part of this is that now the House is questioning how the National Park Services is determining what to close, and one Congressman bashed a ranger doing her job to inform people that sites were closed. This includes a committee spending time to ask the head of the NPS to explain itself. Because you know that should be a top priority.
Basically I’m just frustrated with Congress. Their actions show that they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want a shutdown but they want all the services to still be available, even though they have no budget to pay for those. They seem to be spending their time pointing fingers at each other and not working together to find a solution, getting people back to work, and keep the country moving forward. Tying minor issues to such an important thing (the budget) is not working. Open dialogues because this is just getting ridiculous. I mean it really is like Mean Girls over there – seriously, read this Buzzfeed article.
In the end, I hope they find compromise. I hope they get the government up and running again. And more importantly, I hope that they truly start working together. And if they don’t, then we all need to remember who did what, who didn’t work with you, and elect people to replace them that will compromise. That’s the point of our government. We can’t all be happy at once, but we can come to consensus. The partisan bs needs to stop because we shouldn’t have to have these conversations every two years. I remember being a new Army wife in 2011 worrying if we’d get paid, fortunately the government didn’t shut down then, but this shouldn’t be happening so frequently. So, let’s pass a budget and move forward, then fix the laws that need some fixing, it’s simple and it’s the right thing to do.
What do you think of the government shutdown? How has it impacted you and your family?