We’re headed into another government shutdown, starting tomorrow. This is my attempt to explain the situation: Let’s say you are out to eat with your spouse… Chili’s… you love the skillet-queso… can’t get enough of it. While at dinner, you tell your spouse that you sent the check to the orthodontist to pay for braces for your oldest child. Your spouse flies into a rage.
“I didn’t want you to do that!” your spouse says. “I don’t want to pay for braces! I know the child needs them, but they are too expensive, and they are going to be painful sometimes!”
“We talked about this last year,” you answer. “I know you have reservations about this but our child needs braces, and this is what we decided to do. It’s settled. It’s done. The check has already cleared and the braces go on tomorrow.”
“Oh yeah?” says your irascible spouse. “Then, I refuse to pay for dinner! Have fun eating your skillet-queso because we’re not leaving this restaurant!” …and scene. That’s the fiscal crisis in a nutshell.
- The Affordable Care Act = the braces.
- The irascible spouse = House Republicans.
- The dinner bill = funding the government by raising the debt ceiling.
- You = hostage.
- The skillet-queso = really the best thing to eat at Chili’s.
The House will not raise the debt ceiling because they are mad that Obamacare was passed into law. They cannot repeal Obamacare because the Dems in the senate will not allow it, and even if they did the president would veto. So, since House Republicans cannot repeal Obamacare, they want to de-fund it. The problem is that they can’t. The money used to fund the ACA does not depend upon appropriations from congress! The ACA is funded whether or not Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling. This is a made-up crisis. House Republicans have tried to link the debt ceiling and the funding of ACA together when they are not part of the same thing.
This is from an article at NBC news:
The money the federal government is using to run them doesn’t rely on appropriations from Congress. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has deliberately linked the Affordable Care Act to the continuing resolution — the law that keeps the federal government funded. They want Democrats in Congress and President Obama to agree to delay or even repeal the law in return for keeping the government running. Not going to happen, say the Democrats and Obama. It’s far more likely that the government will shut down for a few days and then both sides will agree to keep cash flowing without bringing the health-reform law into it.
And it’s very unlikely the Republicans in Congress who have vowed to repeal the health-reform law can succeed, because all laws have to pass the Senate and Democrats who support the law control the Senate. And President Barack Obama would veto any such repeal, of course. Even some Republicans point out that the Supreme Court has ruled Obamacare constitutional and it is now the law of the land.