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Republicans shut down the U.S. government

The Stand

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 1, 2013) — Good morning!

House-GOP-w-WAToday, the United States government is shut down. Why? Because the Republican Party wants to repeal a law that passed Congress, was signed by the president, was upheld by the Supreme Court, and was debated again in the context of a presidential election, an election that the president supporting this law easily won.

The Republicans controlling the U.S. House of Representatives — including four from Washington state who have refused to criticize their colleagues’ tactics — don’t have the votes in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate or the assent of that re-elected Democratic president to repeal or delay this law, so they are refusing to pass a budget to keep the government running. They say that Democrats must negotiate a “compromise” with them and until they do, the government will remain shut down.

This is something that doesn’t happen in other countries. The Washington Post points out, “Countries like Pakistan and Colombia have had civil wars, coups, financial crises, even defaults but never a government shutdown.” Today, our nation is an international joke.


Far more importantly, many federal government services that you paid for are being denied to you as of today, some 800,000 Americans face immediate furlough from their jobs, and more than a million Americans are expected to work without the guarantee they will get paid.

“Punishing federal workers and taxpayers to prove a point is a temper tantrum worthy of a four year old, not a policy choice of a responsible political party,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

As explained at AFL-CIO Now, here’s what to expect:

Here is this morning’s news coverage of the shutdown. Read it and weep for how truly irresponsible the Tea Party-inspired House Republicans are:

► In today’s Washington Post — Government shutdown begins — Thousands of government workers arrived at federal office buildings to clean off their desk, set out-of-office e-mail messages and make whatever arrangements were necessary so they could stay off the job indefinitely. Others, including border patrol officers, prison guards and air traffic controllers, were required to work but were told they may not be paid.

► In today’s NY Times — U.S. government shuts down in budget impasse — More than 800,000 federal workers across the country are bracing for an uncertain financial future in the days ahead as many government agencies prepared to close their doors, set up barricades and turn out the lights. Traveling in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called the shutdown “nonsensical” and said it would lead to the immediate furlough of about 400,000 civilian employees.

junemann-greg► In today’s Washington Post — Union calls for federal workers to ‘fight back’ against shutdown — The International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers “urges all Federal workers to join with our Sisters and Brothers throughout the labor community in fighting back. Since the House of Representatives is kicking you out the door, you should take to the streets, let your voices be heard, and remind them that ultimately it is you who will decide their fate, not the other way around,” said IFPTE President Greg Junemann.

► At Huffington Post — Republican Representative calls GOP colleagues ‘lemmings with suicide vests’ — Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sharply criticized his fellow House Republicans on Monday, saying it’s “moronic” for them to let the government shut down over their opposition to Obamacare.

► At Huffington Post — Congressmen still boozing as government shuts down — Reporters tweeted Monday night that they could smell booze on the lawmakers working to strike a last-minute spending deal on Capitol Hill.

► At Politico — Poll: Lowest ever for GOP in Congress — Americans overwhelmingly oppose shutting down government to stop Obamacare, according to a new poll on Tuesday, with Republicans in Congress getting their lowest approval marks to date. Just 17% of Americans approved of the job GOP lawmakers were doing, and 74% disapproved. (Democrats approval rating was 32% and Obama’s was 45%.)

► The Daily Show with Jon Stewart points out how ridiculous it is that Republicans expect Democrats to “negotiate” over the Affordable Care Act, which is the law. “Did you see the Giants game on Sunday? They lost 31-7. And you know what the Giants didn’t say after that game? ‘If you don’t give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we are going to shut down the NFL.’ They didn’t say that!” Or as Willy Wonka so succinctly put it: “You get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!”


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