Shutdown Ends: What Happened and What’s Next?
Congress, under pressure to prevent U.S. debt default, passed a bill Wednesday that gave the government funding until January 15 and raised the debt ceiling until February 7. Unfortunately, most seem united in the belief that this marks the beginning of party procrastination — rather than cooperation.
According to Bloomberg, the agreement failed to solve disagreement between the two parties over fiscal policy — with Republicans still insistent that in three or four months they will not be raising taxes, and Democrats continuing to demand higher tax revenue before cutting Social Secuirty and Medicare.
“We haven’t really resolved any of the big issues. He didn’t get more revenue. He didn’t get the sequester caps lifted. All those decisions were punted,” said Dan Meyer — the former Chief of Staff to Newt Gingrich — of President Obama’s success.
Others — such as Patrick Griffin, the Clinton administration’s congressional lobbyist — feel very differently about the outcome. “It’s clearly a win for the president. Whether it’s a battle win or a war win for the president, we don’t know,” he said.
In a recent email to his fellow party members, Representative John Campbell (R-Calif.) described the agreement as a “complete surrender on the part of Republicans,” according to Mother Jones. Said Campbell, “All that was ‘negotiated’ were the terms of that surrender.”
Campbell said in his email that the January 15, 2014 date was chosen intentionally by Democrats in order to bring Sequester cuts to the forefront. “Democrats are hoping that they can leverage increased funding for defense for all the IRS, EPA, ObamaCare and welfare spending that they want. I think that effort will fail,” said Campbell.
During his Thursday morning speech, President Obama spoke on his signature of bill. “Let’s be clear: There are no winners here. These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. We don’t know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it slowed our growth,” said the President.
As for the future, he asked that government work together, not “purposely making it work worse,” and not to destroy it. “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it,” said Obama.