Now that the crisis in Syria is on hold, it’s time for another crisis. This Congress has been very adept at doing nothing, which shouldn’t be a problem, since governments tend to try to do too much anyway.
The only problem with doing nothing is that if you do nothing long enough, before you know it, Sept. 30 rolls around, the fiscal year ends, and there’s no budget to keep the government running.
That’s why, unless Congress at least temporarily stops doing nothing, the government is going to shut down. Yes, you’ve heard this before; it’s happened three years in a row now.
At least this time there’s a slightly different reason: It’s because on Oct. 1, the day after the old fiscal year ends, the president’s new health insurance exchanges open for business and Tea Party Republicans can’t let that happen.
“If we let Obamacare become implemented and part of the American health care system, it’ll be very hard to ever unravel that,” says Rep. Tim Huelskamp.
Huelskamp is one of the Republicans insisting that any measure to keep the government open include a provision to defund Obamacare. The president would never sign such a bill, so Huelskap wants to attach it – kind of like a legislative tick – to something the president has to sign. Like the federal budget.
Except the president’s spokesman says, “Our position, obviously, is that we will not accept anything that delays or defunds Obamacare.”
Hence the crisis. But we have three weeks and I’m sure it’ll be fixed by then so that we can face the next crisis: Oct. 18, when the U.S. Treasury is expected to hit the debt ceiling, and the United States of America will go into default.