Government Shutdown Is Inexcusable Act of Strong Holding

Make Your Voice Heard, Call Your Congressional Member

October 2, 2013

Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 12:01 a.m., our nation experienced its first federal government shutdown in 17 years. The shutdown has far-reaching consequences, with more than 800,000 federal workers facing furlough. MPAC stands with the thousand of workers having to maneuver through this troubling time and the millions who will suffer from the rippling effect it will have on their lives. The government shutdown is an inexcusable act by a government that is the strongest in the world. There are honest disagreements on economic issues, and MPAC encourages healthy debates on these issues; however, an inability to acquiesce is gambling with the livelihoods of Americans, who at the end of the day can’t ask their bills to take a furlough.

National parks and museums were two of the most visible victims of the shutdown, with images of closures of iconic destinations such as Yosemite National Park and the Lincoln Memorial being spread across the news. Yet like with any ideological disagreement in Washington, DC, our nation’s most vulnerable will feel the impact the most. Programs such as Head Start, WIC program and vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control will slowly be losing their funding.

The shutdown resulted from the inability of House Republicans and Senate Democrats to agree on a short-term budget keeping the government open and running. House Republicans insisted any budget must delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats responded that any budget should not delay the Act. The House requested a conference to negotiate the deal, which the Senate promptly rejected.

The GOP has surrendered to its extreme far-right base at the expense of the greater good of citizens. Compromise and civility are needed to ensure a healthy democratic process. Members of Congress are holding the nation’s economy hostage. Using the livelihood of millions of Americans as a bargaining chip to gain a Republican slant on health care is not how an elected representative should act.

With some members of its own party not standing behind the futility of the actions of the obstructionists, the Republican Party is in danger of becoming irrelevant to a majority of Americans. Polls indicate that Republicans will be blamed for the economic shutdown. As leaders, members of Congress should put common sense before the vociferous clamor of a small, ideological group.

Now that our nation is facing this paradigm, take the time to become more civically engaged. Call your members of Congress, who were elected by you, and express your disappointment on the current situation. Encourage citizens to ensure their voices are heard in the coming mid-term election. Be a part of the solution so that our nation does not face this breakdown again.



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