By Jueseppi B,
House Speaker John Boehner is putting party ahead of country. He has the votes to end the shutdown right now, but he won’t do it — instead, he’s letting a small group of tea party extremists overrule the majority of representatives.
Without a functioning U.S. government, 94% of EPA staff are out of a job — not bad for Big Coal.And who was Boehner dining with on Fridaynight instead of negotiating? Why, none other than Big Coal executives.
Meanwhile, our national parks, from Yosemite to Cuyahoga Valley, are closed to families — but not to private oil and gas leases. Hiking and picnics are out, but corporate profit from public land has never been more in.
Nearly one million workers without a paycheck. No new mortgage or small business loans. Superstorm Sandy cleanup delayed. Cancer research and food safety inspections on hold. Everyone suffers from a government shutdown — everyone except the corporate polluters.
While Boehner and the tea party are playing games, real people are being impacted across the country — like the Illinois National Guard members who still need to show up for work, but might not get paid. Or the deli owner in Seattle who serves many federal employees and said, “I don’t think [Congress] is thinking of people like us. If they keep going like this, how will we pay our rent?” (Members of Congress, however, will still get paid.)
The House has the votes to pass a straightforward funding bill, but Boehner is blocking it. It would only take 17 Republicans joining with Democrats to pass a bill — and Republicans even admit those 17 votes exist! — but Boehner won’t allow it. A straightforward funding bill has the support of a majority of representatives in the House, but not of tea party Republicans, and that’s all the Speaker cares about , the ultimate definition of putting party before country.
The Tea Party hasn’t been able to get their way by winning elections — so now they’re holding our government hostage. But that’s not how democracy works. As Senator John McCain told his colleagues last week, “Elections have consequences.” The people re-elected President Obama and re-affirmed his agenda last November — these extremists are just the worst kind of sore losers.
Oh, sure, these jokers claim they’re listening to the American public — but that’s a bald-faced lie. In a major new poll, 69% of Americans said Congressional Republicans are acting like “spoiled children.” Another poll found that 72% of Americans oppose shutting down the government over health care.
This brinkmanship is undemocratic and, quite frankly, downright insane. Speaker Boehner needs to listen to the will of the people before the damage to our country gets even worse.
In it together,
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