U.S. Government Shutdown

1 October 2013Politics

A deadlocked Congress has led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. Government. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democrat-controlled Senate were unable to reach an agreement on a budget, so there is no money approved to run the country. Each side is blaming the other, but who will ultimately take the blame for this mess?

Here’s the liberal media take, from Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog:

The GOP’s shutdown, driven entirely by the party’s hysterical opposition to health care access, will not derail the Affordable Care Act. The enrollment period begins immediately, Republican apoplexy notwithstanding.

This incredibly dumb, easily avoided shutdown will have the practical effect of hurting the economy, wasting an enormous amount of taxpayer money, and needlessly punishing hundreds of thousands of federal workers and their communities. Just as important, those who rely on federal services — including military veterans — are going to feel the brunt of this, even if congressional Republicans won’t.

Here’s the conservative media take, from Fox News:

Shortly after midnight, the House endorsed an approach that delays the federal health care law’s individual mandate while prohibiting lawmakers, their staff and top administration officials from getting government subsidies for their health care. They formally urged the Senate to form a conference committee — a bicameral committee where lawmakers from both chambers would meet to resolve the differences between the warring pieces of legislation.

Meeting Tuesday morning, the Senate rejected the proposal, in a party-line, 54-46 vote.

Both sides dug in, with Republicans insisting that any spending bill include provisions to chip away at ObamaCare, and Democrats refusing to allow it.

The left is clearly putting the blame on the Republicans – shutting down the Federal Government because they couldn’t successfully repeal or delay the Affordable Care Act (i.e. ObamaCare). Meanwhile, the right (somewhat surprisingly) seems to be focusing on the stubbornness of both parties, not just the Democrats. So is MSNBC allowing its liberal bias to cloud the story while Fox News takes a “fair and balanced” approach to its coverage? Or is it just too difficult for the right to frame the story as a Democrat-created crisis?

According to a national poll published by Bloomberg, here’s America’s take:

In a rejection of congressional Republicans’ strategy, Americans overwhelmingly oppose undermining President Barack Obama’s health-care law by shutting down the federal government or resisting an increase in the nation’s debt limit, according to a poll released today.

By 72 percent to 22 percent, Americans oppose Congress “shutting down major activities of the federal government” as a way to stop the Affordable Care Act from going into effect, the national survey from Quinnipiac University found.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. At this point, things don’t look very good for the Republicans.