At the end of the day, they kicked the can down the road for one simple reason – they cannot agree on anything. What a shame!
The president and members of congress were elected by the American people to govern the nation. Being subservient to special interests, whether on the left or the right of the political spectrum, is not serving the public. No side and no position are unworthy of a discussion and a debate. The president and democrats pushed hard to pass Obama Care; and, even though the implementation of the new health law is experiencing a rocky road, its supporters have the votes in the senate and the threat of a presidential veto on their side to keep the law in place. Republicans in the House of Representatives are right to be concerned over Obama Care, its implementation and its low ball cost estimates, and the deficit which was $10 trillion in 2009 and is expected to increase to $17 trillion before President Obama leaves office.
But the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made it clear they would not negotiate over health care, the budget, or the deficit. Sen. Reid made it clear that in his mind the question of health care was settled with the re-election of President Obama. Harry was, of course, wrong. Voters re-elected a republican House of Representatives and installed a two party government meaning that both sides must learn to communicate and work together to move the nation forward. Democrats said no, and republicans made it very difficult to find common ground. The result was a stalemate.
Washington’s solution to ending the shutdown was to adopt a temporary fix and put off any further action on the budget or the government’s ability to borrow more money until early next year. Some in the media say they are encouraged that members of Congress will be able to reach a deal without shutting down the government again. If such optimism is to be realized, then all parties must sit at the table and want to work through the issues that must be addressed including Obama Care, taxes, out of control spending, and the rapidly increasing federal deficit. These discussions must include President Obama. If he is not at the table, then you can expect more of the same political games.
I would like to be as optimistic as some in the media, but based on past performance I have little hope that Washington will ever sort itself out without wholesale changes in the membership of Congress. The institution is broken, and it needs to be fixed soon. Very soon.