The Republicans are back at it again, and they are more of a joke this time than ever before.
For the 40th time since the Affordable Care Act (famously dubbed Obamacare) passed, Republican members of the House of Representatives are attempting to repeal it.
Last Thursday, the House passed a bill that would continue short-term spending plans at below-sequestration levels and would consider raising the debt ceiling, as long as Obamacare is defunded. This will be the third time that House Republicans have specifically threatened governmental shutdown and debt default for the U.S. in the name of their undying crusade against the new health care law.
This vote comes at a time when the fiscal year is about to end, and the deadline is approaching at 100 miles per hour in a Ferrari from economic hell.
On Sept. 30, the window of opportunity for temporary resolution will close and the government will partially shut down, resulting in a cease in non-mandatory government spending.
The Republican majority in the House, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is putting it all on the line for this one. As Slate’s David Weigel says, the narrative is going to end in the same way it always does. It’ll end with Obamacare walking out of the flames, holding future Republican nominees’ heads in each hand.
Even more daunting is the impending debt ceiling crisis that may occur as a result of the deadlocked positions in Congress.
If the U.S. defaults on its loans as a result of the debt ceiling not being raised, the global financial market will spiral into pandemonium. This could potentially do irreparable damage to the nation’s credit.
The likelihood of this strategy succeeding is not very high, and this is mostly because of the severity of the consequences if things go awry.
The House bill seems to recognize this, and it seems that House leaders are not just looking at this strategy as a way to put a halt to Obamacare but to figure out who is down with the cause in the Senate as well.
Cantor believes that by sending this vote to Congress, House Republicans will be able to determine which senators are with them and which are against them.
This level of in-party fighting and skepticism is a great piece of evidence that indicates the Republican Party is tearing itself to shreds. It doesn’t seem that these politicians can get together on a deal.
What’s interesting about this dispute is that most of the country is not happy with Obamacare in its current form. Usually having this type of public approval would make action against the law an easy go-ahead, but this does not seem to be the case. And why?
Since the beginning, House Republicans have made it clear that they will play hardball. They immediately went for the kill, and as a result, they have become a laughing stock of a Congress with near-record low approval ratings.
This is largely because of the mentality that the far right, which now holds a large stake in the current House of Representatives, has adopted.
This idea of trumping progress in the name of conservative ideology has sent a clear message to the American people: We care about our beliefs, not the people. As Justin Emerson of The State Press noted in his “open letter to conservatives”: “Issues can only get worse if the red half of America is standing with their arms crossed and backs turned to the blue half.”
It is important to have ideology, but progressive discourse must become the modus operandi of the U.S. government and sometimes that may result in both sides making concessions.
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