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The Call Blog: Federal Government Faces First Shutdown In 17 Years

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Tick. Tick. Tick. With each passing second, Americans lose more faith in their elected officials. What faith there is left...



A partial federal government shutdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. unless the House and Senate can reach a spending deal for the fiscal year that begins October 1st. Democrats and Republicans are at odds over this year's budget, which includes funding for President Obama's divisive health care act.

If the shutdown happens, the federal government will lack the authority to spend money on non-essential services. Mail will still be delivered, seniors will still receive Social Security benefits, and border security will still be operational, but some 800,000 federal workers will be out of work without pay. Members of Congress, however, will continue to get paid during the stalemate.

Are you discouraged by the inaction in Washington? Who or what is responsible for the budget stalemate? Should lawmakers be paid while this shutdown continues? Do you think the Republican-controlled House should agree to fund "Obamacare" for the next fiscal year?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



The most obvious answer -- and the simple, correct one -- is that it is the fault of the Tea Party Republicans.

But it is almost as much the fault of President Obama (for whom I voted in both elections), for the weakness that he has shown as a president. He has long needed a "Dirty Harry" moment, along the lines of Ronald Reagan daring the Democrats to "make my day" over the passage of new taxes. Would this Congress, or any Congress have dared to meet Reagan's threat? But Obama proved himself such a weak, wimpy presence in Washington from his first year in office, that even if he had such a moment and availed himself of it, he would never be able to convince his opponents of his willingness to "pull the trigger," as it were, on his veto pen.

Bruce
Upper West Side
Manhattan



John,

Law makers should not get paid. Congress has held the American people hostage. Their greed is so apparent that they just don't care. Vote them all out!!!!

Jeanne
Jamaica, NY



John,

Anything that will slow down the rapid advance of socialism and fascism has got to be good. Well over 50% of the government is unauthorized by the Constitution and should be shut down. Anything worth saving should be put in the hands of private enterprise.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



I HAVE A FISCAL SPENDING PLAN THAT COULD GET US OUT OF A WHOLE LOT OF JAMS. STOP GIVING OUR MONIES TO OTHER COUNTRIES. OUR DOMESTIC PLANS TOWARDS OUR CITIZENS IS SO INFERIOR COMPARED TO OUR FOREIGN POLICY. SOLVE OUR FISCAL PROBLEMS FIRST. NO MONEY FOR HATERS OF AMERICA.

JOE, BAY TERRACE



John -

In this case I agree with the President. Affordable Care Act should continue and should not be the cause of a potential Government shutdown. The Republicans are totally irresponsible on this important issue.

John, Oakwood



Let's shut down the government and have government people loose pay because of the politicians. We'll if the government shuts down, the politicians shouldn't get paid also. If that was the case there would not be a government shut down !

Ed (Fort Lauderdale)



This shutdown will not affect the lawmakers pay check, neither will it affect their health care coverage both of which are paid for by us the tax payers and yet their willing to furlough thousands of workers and republicans are obsessed about killing health care for the 25 million Americans that are currently uninsured.

Felix
Bay Ridge



The responsibility for the budget stalemate lies on the lawmakers because they don't give a rats behind about the American people that voted them into their office and also because they will still continue to get paid. This is not the America I use to know. As far as Obamacare, the Republican-controlled House might as well vote to fund it because it will be funded anyway in the long run. So instead of making the American people suffer, they should vote to continue to fund this government that is slowly but surely crumbling.

RALPH/BAYRIDGE



Hi John,

When it was first presented to us there were many problems with it and no one could answer any questions that were asked. When Nancy Pelosi was confronted with questions she said let it pass and get signed and then read it. This is not going to work and I am getting sick and tired of this Schumer making remarks about the right and the tea party. He referred to us as a GOD when he is the one that surely looks as though he thinks he is GOD. I don’t forget how he and a few other senators signed off on a letter to the IRS. They are very quick with the sarcastic remarks. Many people with terminal illness’ are being taken off medication that is not curing the patients but is just prolonging their life.

SHAME ON THESE PEOPLE = I ALSO NOTICE THAT THEY ARE PLAYING THE BLAME
GAME ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! How do they sleep at night?????????

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



Federal shutdown may happen and many workers will not get paid but Congress will still get a check. There is someting wrong there. I think Congress men and women should not get paid and be fined for bringing this great nation to this shutdown. If they faced the reality of not being paid, they might think twice and make sure the shutdown didn't happen.

Freddy- Glen Oaks Village



Should Congress allow The Shut Down of OUR GOVERNMENT Then We Demand That ALL The Perks and Operating Benefits that congress and senate representatives receive from

The American Tax Payers Must Also Be Shut Down
1) Their complete Staff Must be Laid Off at once.
2) All Monies to Operate their Business from Day to Day including the use of any Government issued Debit / Credit Cards / Expense vouchers for Airlines, Train, Auto or anything the American Tax Payer Covers is STOPPED. These Costs of operating will need to come out of Their Own Pockets....
3) Organizations, Corporations, are prohibited from Covering Any of These Expenses for congress or senate persons during any Government Shut Down
4) All The Congressional & Senate Cafeterias’ and Dining Room Must be Closed At Once. They can Brown Bag It like the Many Americans Do

If the American People need to suffer a Shut Down then The Congress and The Senate Must Bit The Bullets As Well

N.



This is disgraceful that Congress can let the Federal Govt shut down because they don't like Obama Care. Why do they get paid? They work for the Federal Govt. Whatever Obama says is black, they say it's white. I'm sure at this point we are the laughing stock of the world. If this is how our politicians are going to behave, we are doomed. It's a sad shame!

Cheryl from Richmond Hill



This isn't just about the shutdown or Obamacare. It's about the extreme right wing faction that last year threatened to throw the nation into a default. If the Democrats cave to the "legitimate rape" faction of the GOP, the extremists will come back on the debt ceiling and trigger a national default. Default will trigger another global economic meltdown, this time worse than the 2008 meltdown. I voted for Romney because 17 trillion in debt is unsustainable. But we can't cure our debt crisis overnight, anymore than you can lose 100 lbs in a week. The legitimate rape faction said last year they would default to get their way. If someone stands up on the subway and says "I have a bomb", they can't turn around and say "just kidding." The extreme right wing is crazy. These are the same people who would let the Son of Sam buy guns on the internet. Now is the time to put down the extreme right wing faction once and for all.

Canaan
Manhattan



During the debt crisis Congressman Michael Grimm said Federal employees will not get raises. He said it will set a bad precedence and we must lead by example. Well here we are four years later no raise and now 800,000 may be without pay as was DoD during their furlough a short time ago, but there is Congress collecting their undeserved salaries and laughing all the way to the bank. I blame all of them for creating this mess from Obama to the lowest ranking member. I just hope that over a million Federal workers remember this come election time and do not support any of the present members of Congress. They have exceeded their welcome. They are inept at best and double talkers to begin with.

Roscoe,
Park Hill



Good Evening John,

What a sad day for America....I think the Republicans should accept the Affordable Care Act and MOVE ON........The republicans are behaving terribly and I only hope that all voters REMEMBER this before they put people in office who do not work for the PEOPLE.

Lastly, NO ONE should get paid in either the House or the Senate if ever the government is shut down!

Anita



John,

I blame the Tea Party zealots 100% for this mess. When a conservative like Rep. King calls out those extreme-right Republicans for their extremism, that exposes their true agenda. At least I respect my (both Democratic) senators and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY, 9CD). I just hope and pray that reason wins out, and soon.

Faye from Brooklyn



They should absolutely not get paid. If I don't go to work I don't get paid. So What makes them so special.

Paul



It is outrageous that both houses of Congress and the President (and their respective staffs) would get paid while shutting down the government, causing over 800,000 people getting furloughed. How many families can you affect with this idiocy, while not reaping the same effects of their decisions.

Jim



I am beginning to believe more and more that these House Republicans are anti-American and are racists of KKK proportions. They need to go. We don't need them in this country. They are detrimental to our National Security and Democracy. I will never, ever vote for a Republican because I truly believe that a lot of them are Pure Evil.

What is it with these republicans? Do they want poor people to go without medical treatment and just die and thin our the surplus population? They live in a world of Dickensian morals. That the wealthiest country in the world has people suffering and dying from lack of access to quality medical care is a total disgrace.

Frances
East Village



The Republican Party should be ashamed - to allow themselves to be high jacked by a bunch of anarchists who call themselves the Tea Party. In any other country these people would've jailed for their treasonous behavior.

Nora from Manhattan



I am livid about our congress. We need to limit terms and lobbying!

Charlotte



We now have 3 hours to go to a government shutdown -- whether right-wing republicans will follow through on their threats to shut down the government over Obamacare. Once again threats to Obamacare. And John Boehner is allowing 30-40 radical tea party extremists basically run this country by holding us hostage until their conditions are met. President Obama is fought at every turn by these members. And I think that it is just appalling that Congress still gets paid no matter what!

Speaking of right-wing republicans -- let's not elect Mayoral Candidate Joe Lhota who is backed by the Koch brothers aligned with the right-wing extremist tea party in the Mayor's Office!! He could actually be worse then Mayor Bloomberg!

Lisa
Upper east side



How is our Tea Party favorite congressman from Staten Island, Michael Grimm voting on this issue?

Mario
Chelsea



Congress SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT still get paid if there indeed a government shut down.

Danielle
The Bronx



They should change the law so that if they cause the govt to shut down they should not get paid just like other federal employees. They cause the problem the rest of us suffer the consequences. But why should they care for them its a paid vacation.

Ayla



This unfair to the peoples who voted for them. For every 1 signal day the Government was shut down, the politicians should loose 10 days of their salary. And those money should go to charity that helps peoples in need.

Amitorfor from Upper East Side



Congress should neither receive health care benefits nor salary because of failure of employment obligations during any government shutdown.

Carol



All I hearing on this show is how the govt shutdown is the fault of the "tea party extremists." I would ask a Democrat to actually NAME a tea partier. Where are they?

The leading republican congressman- Boehner, King, Paul, Grimm are not tea partiers so where are they hiding?

Christine from Bay Ridge



The old adage-- lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. The GOP welcomed the folks with tea bags dangling from their hats funded by the Koch Brothers, and now they have to live with them.

I would like the American people to get the list of the benefits (health and others) that members of congress get for life and for their families.

Karen
NYC



To The Call:

Given the uncertain critical times we deal with, and now with added uncertainty regarding a government close-down is an out right selfish and foolish act, which implecations will follow such as stealing, hold-ups, unsafe streets, etc., people who depend of monthly check...
are sure to retailiate.

Lets hope for the best.
Hector from the Bronx



If average federal workers have to loose paychecks due to furloughs as a result of lawmakers not been able to pass the budget because of their petty differences, selfish lawmakers should loose paychecks as well. The American people should not be held captive by parties selfish agendas. This low political game helps erode the democratic trust in the government. People are less likely to vote or even care in our democratic process due to this rift raft. This is not a good precedent.

Obed in Washington Heights



Republicans are to blame and I voted for Romney & Grimm. Fund Healthcare. Let it collapse. Republicans will win big in 2014!

Republicans are to blame. Ted Cruz looks like a fool

Joe
SI NY



Send in the clowns...

Howard from Fresh Meadows



GOP should fund "Obamacare" till next year! Both houses are @ fault particulary the Old GOP Klansmen! Members should not be paid if the budget is not passed but they will , there paychecks are secured! I would be surprised if they seek a pay raise after all of this. No, this will not discourage me @ all.

Tony, Albany
PS: Sen. Ted Cruz should not keep his day job!



The entire Senate and House of Representatives should be unpaid for the duration of any shutdown. If nothing else perhaps peer pressure will being about an earlier resumption of responsible behavior.

Barbara



They're all to blame! How is it even possible that they have the power to "shut down" the govt? This needs to change! The system of checks and balances is supposed to prevent this exact sort of thing. They're all posturing to hold us hostage and scare us into believing they are the lords of the land and their power us supreme. Every last one of them should be fired, they're useless.

Erin from Astoria



I find it "shameful" that The Speaker of the House has given up his control to a bunch of "self serving Republicans".

To think that they are "unwilling to compromise", they would rather shut our government down and hurt many people and businesses because they can't get their way. This type of behavior is "unprofessional", and "immature". Shame on this grown men resembling spoiled, bratty children.

Theresa
Upper West Side



I am not the biggest fan of Obamacare - I think it is the first step that is being taken in what needs to be a larger discussion about how we deliver healthcare to our citizens in this country - but having Obamacare is better than not having Obamacare. The politicians that are pushing the Republican agenda in this debate are the same people who have been on the wrong side of history since the founding of this country. They are the people who brought slavery to this country and attempted to legitimize its practice, they are the people who practiced Jim Crow and trained water hoses and dogs on civil rights workers; they listened to Father Coughlin in the thirties and fought Roosevelt every step of the way; they encouraged Joe McCarthy and blacklisted writers in the fifties; they are the people who threw stones at gay people in the seventies and ignored the AIDS crisis in the eighties; they are the people who tried to keep women in their kitchens in the sixties and seventies and still try to interfere with women's rights and health in any way they can. They die reviled, ridiculed, or forgotten. They are the public face of a darker place in this country that has contempt for the average American, for anyone who looks or thinks differently than they do.

They are drawing a line in the sand with this effort and, if we are not careful, we will end up living in an America that we do not recognize.

John



The Republicans are solely responsible for the potential shutdown!! They HATE President Obama for no good reason. I'm a federal employee, who in the the event of a shutdown, still HAVE to report to work tomorrow, even though I'll be furloughed. Your viewers who think everything will be just fine don't face working and not being paid and the real life damage that this foolishness can cause to thousands of federal workers!!

I work for SSA, which is an essential Agency!!

Patricia



John,

The Republicans know the health care law will work then the American people will realize they were bamboozled. That is an omen going
into the 2014 election.

Wayne
Vinegar Hill. Brooklyn



Why isn't anyone blaming the Democrats in the Senate? They have the final vote. THEY are the ones that ultimately shut down the government. Why can't they put their personal feelings aside and vote down Obamacare since that is the bill on the table and keep the government open?! The Senate has the last word so it is ultimately their fault.

Christine from bay ridge



Please stop talking in generalities. The government shutdown is the fault of about 20 Tea Party Congressmen. The whole government and the American People are being terrorized by Ted Cruz and company. The President and the rest of the government cannot negotiate with Terrorist. Choose! Please pick a side and stick with it.

Ivan
East New York
Brooklyn



While the bratty, spoiled members of Congress are in gridlock, the president should, instead, be challenging, proposing or compromising rather than blaming the Republican party.

Will,
Upper West



This is messed up because i honestly think that if the government is sgut down the economy might go bad and if the economy goes bad then i guess people would start to rob each each other and it might even go as far as to killing each other.

From Harlem
Richard A.



The only people who lose is the working people the house and congress can afford this game.

Clarice



Hi they call me Flex .I live in Rossville staten island..I love your show u always let the people voice their opinion...all this democrat Republican blaming is ridiculous... impeach obama plain and simple... Ndaa.. I tried to vote for the girl who used to work there but I couldn't because im a registered Republican and now she lost how is the voting process legal if u cant vote fir who u want

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