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Divided Congress fails to avert shutdown

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, returns to his office after a procedural vote on the House floor, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are at an impasse as Congress continues to struggle over how to prevent a possible shutdown of the federal government when it runs out of money. President Barack Obama ramped up pressure on Republicans Monday to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying that failure to pass a short-term spending measure to keep agencies operating would "throw a wrench into the gears" of a recovering economy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, returns to his office after a procedural vote on the House floor, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are at an impasse as Congress continues to struggle over how to prevent a possible shutdown of the federal government when it runs out of money. President Barack Obama ramped up pressure on Republicans Monday to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying that failure to pass a short-term spending measure to keep agencies operating would "throw a wrench into the gears" of a recovering economy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • The White House in Washington is seen at night, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. President Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    The White House in Washington is seen at night, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. President Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • The White House in Washington is seen at night, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. President Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    The White House in Washington is seen at night, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. President Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting about the ongoing budget fight on Capitol Hill on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting about the ongoing budget fight on Capitol Hill on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Emiliano Iztkuauhtli Muniz, 8, front, plays the Teponachtli, a traditional Mexika drum, along with his sister, Lizet Citlalli Muniz, 13, left, while their father, Miguel Tonalkoyotl Muniz, dances during the 16th Annual International Festival held at Hillandale Park in Harrisonburg, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Mexika is an ancient culture of native Mexicans with colorful headdresses, clothing, and man-made instruments.  (AP Photo/Daily News-Record, Jason Lenhart)

    Emiliano Iztkuauhtli Muniz, 8, front, plays the Teponachtli, a traditional Mexika drum, along with his sister, Lizet Citlalli Muniz, 13, left, while their father, Miguel Tonalkoyotl Muniz, dances during the 16th Annual International Festival held at Hillandale Park in Harrisonburg, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Mexika is an ancient culture of native Mexicans with colorful headdresses, clothing, and man-made instruments. (AP Photo/Daily News-Record, Jason Lenhart)

  • A vehicle drives by a maple tree, which is beginning to change colors, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, Va., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Shenandoah National Park  will close if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress.  (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox)

    A vehicle drives by a maple tree, which is beginning to change colors, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, Va., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Shenandoah National Park will close if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress. (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox)

  • A vehicle drives by a maple tree, which is beginning to change colors, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, Va., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Shenandoah National Park  will close if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress.  (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox)

    A vehicle drives by a maple tree, which is beginning to change colors, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, Va., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Shenandoah National Park will close if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress. (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox)

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican unity showed unmistakable signs of fraying Monday as Democrats and the White House vowed to reject tea party-driven demands to delay the nation's health care overhaul as the price for averting a partial government shutdown at midnight.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican unity showed unmistakable signs of fraying Monday as Democrats and the White House vowed to reject tea party-driven demands to delay the nation's health care overhaul as the price for averting a partial government shutdown at midnight. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican unity showed unmistakable signs of fraying Monday as Democrats and the White House vowed to reject tea party-driven demands to delay the nation's health care overhaul as the price for averting a partial government shutdown at midnight.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican unity showed unmistakable signs of fraying Monday as Democrats and the White House vowed to reject tea party-driven demands to delay the nation's health care overhaul as the price for averting a partial government shutdown at midnight. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting about the ongoing budget fight on Capitol Hill on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting about the ongoing budget fight on Capitol Hill on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, returns to his office after a procedural vote on the House floor, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are at an impasse as Congress continues to struggle over how to prevent a possible shutdown of the federal government when it runs out of money. President Barack Obama ramped up pressure on Republicans Monday to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying that failure to pass a short-term spending measure to keep agencies operating would "throw a wrench into the gears" of a recovering economy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • The White House in Washington is seen at night, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. President Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • The White House in Washington is seen at night, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. President Obama is ramping up pressure on Republicans to avoid a post-midnight government shutdown, saying a shutdown would hurt the economy and hundreds of thousands of government workers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting about the ongoing budget fight on Capitol Hill on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • Emiliano Iztkuauhtli Muniz, 8, front, plays the Teponachtli, a traditional Mexika drum, along with his sister, Lizet Citlalli Muniz, 13, left, while their father, Miguel Tonalkoyotl Muniz, dances during the 16th Annual International Festival held at Hillandale Park in Harrisonburg, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Mexika is an ancient culture of native Mexicans with colorful headdresses, clothing, and man-made instruments.  (AP Photo/Daily News-Record, Jason Lenhart)
  • A vehicle drives by a maple tree, which is beginning to change colors, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, Va., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Shenandoah National Park  will close if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress.  (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox)
  • A vehicle drives by a maple tree, which is beginning to change colors, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, Va., on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Shenandoah National Park  will close if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress.  (AP Photo/The Daily News-Record, Nikki Fox)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, followed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to speak to reporters after the Democratic-led Senate rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican unity showed unmistakable signs of fraying Monday as Democrats and the White House vowed to reject tea party-driven demands to delay the nation's health care overhaul as the price for averting a partial government shutdown at midnight.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican unity showed unmistakable signs of fraying Monday as Democrats and the White House vowed to reject tea party-driven demands to delay the nation's health care overhaul as the price for averting a partial government shutdown at midnight.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • Speaker of the House John Boehner, R- Ohio, pauses during a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting about the ongoing budget fight on Capitol Hill on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 in Washington.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — For the first time in nearly two decades, the federal government staggered into a partial shutdown Monday at midnight after congressional Republicans stubbornly demanded changes in the nation’s health care law as the price for essential federal funding and President Barack Obama and Democrats adamantly refused.

As Congress gridlocked, Obama said a “shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away,” with hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed and veterans’ centers, national parks, most of the space agency and other government operations shuttered.

He laid the blame at the feet of House Republicans, whom he accused of seeking to tie government funding to ideological demands, “all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, responded a short while later on the House floor. “The American people don’t want a shutdown and neither do I,” he said. Yet, he added, the new health care law “is having a devastating impact. ... Something has to be done.”

The stock market dropped on fears that political deadlock between the White House and a tea party-heavy Republican Party would prevail, though analysts suggested significant damage to the national economy was unlikely unless a shutdown lasted more than a few days.

A few minutes before midnight, Budget Director Sylvia Burwell issued a directive to federal agencies to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown.” While an estimated 800,000 federal workers faced furloughs, some critical parts of the government — from the military to air traffic controllers — would remain open.

Any interruption in federal funding would send divided government into territory unexplored in nearly two decades. Then, Republicans suffered grievous political damage and President Bill Clinton benefitted from twin shutdowns. Now, some Republicans said they feared a similar outcome.

If nothing else, some Republicans also conceded it was impossible to use funding legislation to squeeze concessions from the White House on health care. “We can’t win,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“We’re on the brink,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Md., said shortly after midday as the two houses maneuvered for political advantage and the Obama administration’s budget office prepared for a partial shutdown, the first since the winter of 1995-1996.

On a long day and night in the Capitol, the Senate torpedoed one GOP attempt to tie government financing to changes in “Obamacare.” House Republicans countered with a second despite unmistakable signs their unity was fraying — and Senate Democrats promptly rejected it, as well.

Defiant still, House Republicans decided to re-pass their earlier measure and simultaneously request negotiations with the Senate on a compromise. Some aides conceded the move was largely designed to make sure that the formal paperwork was on the Senate’s doorstep as the day ended.

Whatever its intent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., rejected it. “That closes government. They want to close government,” he said of House Republicans.

As lawmakers squabbled, Obama spoke bluntly about House Republicans. “You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there’s a law there that you don’t like,” he said. Speaking of the health care law that undergoes a major expansion on Tuesday, he said emphatically, “That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down.”

Some Republicans balked, moderates and conservatives alike.

Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia said it felt as if Republicans were retreating, given their diminishing demands, and Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia said there was not unanimity when the rank and file met to discuss a next move.

Yet for the first time since the showdown began more than a week ago, there was also public dissent from the Republican strategy that has been carried out at the insistence of lawmakers working in tandem with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa., said he was willing to vote for stand-alone legislation that would keep the government running and contained no health care-related provisions. “I would be supportive of it, and I believe the votes are there in the House to pass it at that point,” the fifth-term congressman said.

Other Republicans sought to blame Democrats for any shutdown, but Dent conceded that Republicans would bear the blame, whether or not they deserved it.

Hours before the possible shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject the House-passed measure that would have kept the government open but would have delayed implementation of the health care law for a year and permanently repealed a medical device tax that helps finance it.

In response, House Republicans sought different concessions in exchange for allowing the government to remain open. They called for a one-year delay in a requirement in the health care law for individuals to purchase coverage. The same measure also would require members of Congress and their aides as well as the president, vice president and the administration’s political appointees to bear the full cost of their own coverage by barring the government from making the customary employer contribution.

“This is a matter of funding the government and providing fairness to the American people,” said Boehner. “Why wouldn’t members of Congress vote for it?”

The vote was 228-201, with a dozen Republicans opposed and nine Democrats in favor.

Unimpressed, Senate Democrats swatted it on a 54-46 party line vote about an hour later.

Obama followed up his public remarks with phone calls to Boehner and the three other top leaders of Congress, telling Republicans he would continue to oppose attempts to delay or cut federal financing of the health care law.

The impact of a shutdown would be felt unevenly.

Many low-to-moderate-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays, and Obama said veterans’ centers would be closed.

About 800,000 federal workers, many already reeling from the effect of automatic budget cuts, would be ordered to report to work Tuesday for about four hours — but only to carry out shutdown-related chores such as changing office voicemail messages and completing time cards.

Some critical services such as patrolling the borders and inspecting meat would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent, and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.

U.S. troops were shielded from any damage to their wallets when Obama signed legislation assuring the military would be paid in the in the event of a shutdown.

That had no impact on those who labor at other agencies.

“I know some other employees, if you don’t have money saved, it’s going to be difficult,” said Thelma Manley, who has spent seven years as a staff assistant with the Internal Revenue Service during a 30-year career in government.

As for herself, she said, “I’m a Christian, I trust in God wholeheartedly and my needs will be met.” She added, “I do have savings, so I can go to the reserve, so to speak.”

Comments
Legacy Comments5

40% of the government is shut down and nobody can see much of a difference in their daily lives. There must be alot of bloat there. The American public doesn't want Obamacare shoved down our throats. Every single poll ever taken shows this. The republicans are just trying to exercise the will of the American people on this matter and the democrats having tried to bring government run healthcare to the country for over 80 years are not willing to give an inch on this so they shut down the government. It was there way or no way. Latest CNN poll - 38% for 57% against Obamacare (a 19% difference against obamacare). A government by and for the people would replace Obamacare with something better. http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/09/30/rel10a.pdf

Gary, the only polls you should be paying attention to are the ones that show the very real damage that this is doing to the GOP, and the overwhelmingly negative opinion that the electorate at large has of the House, its weak leadership, and Tea Party fringe. Normally, rats have the good sense to abandon a sinking ship, but the republicans ability to hold together in the face of this kind of scorn is really amazing. Same goes for your ability to repeat the same old claptrap when your party is really on the verge of imploding. But then again, you're just a web troll who might not even be a real person; they're a part of government.

Gary, Gary, Gary, you really need to stop using words like the American public, as if you mean every one. This is not the case, the majority of Americans voted for President Obama, knowing that he intended to bring in Health Care Reform, so he did not shove anything down anybody's throat. So really, you should use the word "some" when trying to describe the American people you intend to speak for, since you do not speak for most Americans, and you certainly don't speak for me. Clearly, you cannot get over the election and like your counter partners would rather see American and our President fail, than to admit how wrong you were and are. Yes, pols go up and pols go down, so really it would be baseless for you to blame the burden of the chip on your shoulder on anyone but yourself, apparently you have not come to terms that the republicans lost the election. Time to move on.

(suesox) Do we really have a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people"? It doesn't seem so.

Most of the people causing the real ruckus are only governing by and for the constituency of very narrowly gerrymandered "safe" districts in which their only incentive is to avoid more radical primary challengers. In terms of the popular vote, these people are a small minority of our electorate, though their delusional sense of entitlement leads them to assume that they really represent the mainstream.

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