Several days into it now, all we need to do is look at actions and see whose really to blame for the government shutdown. Lets review the timeline:
Senate Democrats have rejected at least four different proposals from the House of Representatives designed to keep the government running and fund basic services, and refuse to talk with House Republicans. Here’s a look:
On Friday, September 20, 2013, the House of Representatives passed legislation to keep the government running – funding Medicare, Social Security, veterans benefits, and more – while removing funding for the president’s health care law, which is driving up costs and hurting our economy.
The Democratic-controlled Senate rejected this measure.
On Saturday, September 28, 2013, the House passed another measure to keep the government running, delay the president’s health care law for one year, and permanently repeal ObamaCare’s tax on pacemakers and children’s hearing aids.
Senate Democrats rejected the measure on a party-line vote, as Democratic leaders insisted they would not negotiate – and that “there’s no need for conversations” – with Republicans.
On Monday, September 30, 2013, the House passed yet another measure to keep the government running and ensure fairness for all Americans under the president’s health care law. President Obama delayed the law’s mandates on big businesses and insurance companies; this bill would delay the law for everyone. “This is an issue of fairness,” said Speaker Boehner.
The Senate rejected this measure too.
“Unfortunately, Senate Democrats chose to shut down the government rather than discuss or even recognize ObamaCare’s failures,” said Speaker Boehner. “The best path forward right now is for both chambers to convene a formal conference committee where we can resolve our differences, and move forward on important legislation that gets control of spending and strengthens our economy.”
The House then passed another bill late on Monday requesting a formal conference committee with the Senate to come to an agreement on legislation that provides funding for the federal government and delays the president’s health care law for all Americans.
The Senate then opposed that measure as well, “rejected negotiating with the House on government funding,” according to The Hill.
And what about President Obama… will he negotiate? Why can’t he and the House Republicans make a deal? The answer there is simple. President Obama says he’s willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.
“I’m happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don’t think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don’t negotiate by putting a gun to the other person’s head,” Obama says.
What do people’s actions say about who is really to blame? Actions show that the House Republicans have consistently showed willingness to compromise. They didn’t just say, “I’ll willing to talk”, but instead they put their words on paper and consistently delivered new changes that cut down own position. That is the essence of negotiation. Every time these changes were presented to the Democrat lead Senate, they consistently rejected them. Actions speak louder than words.
So Senate Democrats got their government shutdown. As Speaker Boehner said, “House Republicans will continue our efforts to keep the government running. We hope that Senate Democrats – and President Obama – change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people.”