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Thoughts on the shutdown

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

I didn’t think the politicians would let it go this far. They huff and puff a lot, but when it came down to the wire I thought they would find a solution to keep the government open. Sadly they are all far more concerned about the agenda of their party affiliation and trying to position themselves for the next election cycle than they are the concerns and needs of the American public.

House Speaker, John Boehner was quoted as saying: “….This isn’t a game,” yet Republicans continue to strategically send bills to the Senate they know will be rejected all to get Democrats to go on the record as against specific measures. President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have made it clear they will not negotiate with the House and will not sign any bill that is not a clean funding bill to reopen government. With neither side willing to blink this is simply a game of chicken.

So what’s the next move by the House? They send up a bill to pay all federal furloughed workers the wages they lost during the shutdown, once the impasse is resolved. The Senate is expected to agree to that legislation. At the same time, those in charge are going way out of their way to ensure the American public and our armed forces feel as much pain from this shut down as possible. Not only are they closing parks like the Grand Canyon when states are willing to fund their continued operation during the shutdown but they have refused to televise sporting events to our troops and have even gone so far as to threaten contracted chaplains who voluntarily choose to preside over Sunday services for the troops.

With the country going deeper in debt every day and our lawmakers telling the federal work force things like, stay home, we don’t want you to serve the public; oh but don’t worry, we’ll pay you for the time spent away from your post when we decide America has had enough. If that doesn’t sound to you like a game, I don’t know what does.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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