Monday, October 7, 2013

The Accidental Shutdown

Byron York and other reporters sat down with a senior Republican Congressman who asked to remain anonymous and then delivered an account of how the shutdown came about that makes it seem accidental:
I would liken this a little bit to Gettysburg, where a Confederate unit went looking for shoes and stumbled into Union cavalry, and all of a sudden found itself embroiled in battle on a battlefield it didn't intend to be on, and everybody just kept feeding troops into it. That's basically what's happening now in a political sense. This isn't exactly the fight I think Republicans wanted to have, certainly that the leadership wanted to have, but it's the fight that's here.
According to this version, the leadership thought they could avoid a shutdown and get the continuing resolution until Ted Cruz launched his "defund Obamacare" drive during the August recess
They got surprised a little bit by the Obamacare thing. This was something that blew up in August. Nobody really saw it coming — probably should have a little bit, I'm not being critical of anybody in that regard, on either side of this — but it just happened.
This is what Harry Reid has been saying. He insists that he and Boehner had a deal on a continuing resolution, which was that the House would pass it if it continued the cuts made by the sequester, which Democrats have been trying to rescind. Reid, said, ok, if that's what you can pass I can live with that level of funding for two months while we negotiate the budget. But then all the Tea Party guys started talking about defunding Obamacare, and Boehner told Reid that he did not have the votes to pass a continuing resolution that did not involve some cut or delay to the health care law. Reid blew up at Boehner and said that if he didn't have the votes he should send over somebody who did, so they could make a deal. This is a big part of the reason why Democrats have been able to stick together on every vote so far; they think Boehner reneged on a deal, so they have little interest in trying to make another one that he might just renege on in turn. Asked what will happen next, this Congressman said he has no idea and neither does anybody else.

Boehner has done this at least three times now, coming to a verbal agreement with Reid and then backing off because, he said, he doesn't have the votes.  If our government goes into its first ever default, his incompetence will be a big part of the reason.

1 comment:

Shadow Flutter said...

No one is winning here, just some losing more than others. The republicans have acted irresponsibly and in bad faith, again, but the rather tepid response to the shutdown and possible default may lie in the administration's exaggerating the effects of sequestration. Remember that? The sky was falling. And now we have outside parks like the mall closed. Such silliness, it's difficult to give the administration a pass.

The irony here is with all the enrollment problems, we are likely to see a delay in the individual mandate anyway.

I can see the rest of the world saying, "and they have nukes?"