October 1, 2013
House Majority Leader John Boehner isn’t blinking. Senate majority leader Harry Reid isn’t blinking. And President Obama surely isn’t blinking.
The culmination of what has been a showdown on Capitol Hill will show itself today — either lawmakers have come up with a miracle 11th-hour solution to a new line of government spending or the country will watch as the government goes through a partial shutdown.
According to most analysis, the federal government will run out of money on Oct. 17 if Congress doesn’t agree to raise the debt ceiling — a scenario that would have catastrophic effects on the nation.
But the wrangling between the GOP and Dems is hardly over just government spending, with ObamaCare at its core, but other areas, as well.
For instance, the latest Farm Bill also expired on Monday, and the two chambers of Congress are split on how deeply to slash food-stamp funding and the future uncertain for farmers and anti-hunger advocates.
Still, the federal budget and ObamaCare will continue to get the headlines, as it should. And with the Democratic-led Senate and Democratic president sure to oppose unlinking the two issues, and Republican-led House unlikely to blink, a disruptive shutdown is a likely event.
But in the end, the blame for this mess might not actually be those at the head of the debate. After all, it was all of us who put them there.
Regardless, the issues has screamed for pragmatic, decisive, foresighted, apolitical leadership — all of which we have seen little of so far. Americans are about to learn, perhaps the hard way, whether it now exists in Washington, D.C., or only in history books.