March 17 USA Today:
… The House earlier this week passed the stopgap measure, which would cut $6 billion in federal spending and fund the government through April 8. Fifty four Republicans — many of them elected with Tea Party support in November — bucked House GOP Speaker John Boehner and the leadership to vote “no.”
New York Times March 15th:
WASHINGTON — The House gave grudging approval on Tuesday to a plan to finance the federal government for three more weeks, even as dozens of Republicans broke with their leadership and opposed the stopgap legislation.
Congressional leaders said the measure, which imposes $6 billion in new spending cuts, would avert a government shutdown while giving Republicans and Democrats until April 8 to conclude a more sweeping budget deal to finance the government through Sept. 30
The last time the federal government shut down, only those operations that were deemed “essential” were kept going.
Deemed non-essential were all the parks in Washington DC leaving thousands tourists stranded who wanted to see the Smithsonian or the Washington Monument.
Also deemed non-essential was the feds paying their bills for the city of Nogales to operate the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant which is co-owned by the city of Nogales and the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission and which treats sewage from Nogales, Sonora.
Obviously Nogales could not shut down the wastewater treatment plant, so a very low income community ended up carrying the feds while the feds had their little budget spat.
After the dust settled, Nogales turned over operations of the treatment plant to the feds so in the event there was another budget fight and the feds shut down, the city would not get the blame for polluting the Santa Cruz River nor have to subsidize the federal government.
As Yogi Berra observed…”it is deja vu all over again”.
UPDATE 03-17-2011: Looks like the shut down is postponed fpr another 3 weeks with a continuing resolution and $6 billion in cuts….this time….if they do this every 2 or 3 weeks for a year….$100 billion in cuts eventually?
UPDATE: March 17, 2011
April 8th is now looming as the next deadline in the showdown between the Tea Party congresscritters and the Republican Party regulars over whether or not to shut the Federal government down over the cut-the-budget-fight.
Isn’t shutting the federal government down what the Tea Party is all about?
If they fail this time they have plenty of additional opportunities to achieve their goal… now they are running the government on a week-to-week basis with temporrary extensions and the vote on extending the national debt limit comes next.
The problem for the Tea Partiers is the decision on what “essential” services of the federal government remain operational even if the budget vote (or a short term extension) fails to pass.
Obama makes that decision.
Last time around in 1995 the national park system was shut down…along with all the tourist attractions in Washington DC. Folks who couldn’t visit the Washington Monument or the Smithsonian had nothing better to do than to march down to Capitol Hill and complain to their congressional representatives. Which they did.
Reading the Tea Party stuff, one would get the impression we all could live quite happily without a federal government.
I am sure a lot of business people can live without OSHA or the SEC or the EPA breathing down their necks, and a lot of folks won’t mind it if Planned Parenthood and PBS are shut down.
Maybe if they succeed in shutting the government down, everyone will find out what important things the feds do that a lot of people want to be continued.
Park the Border Patrol and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Shut down all the US ports of entry.
Shut down federal courts.
Ground the military.
Shut down the air traffic control system and ground all the planes.
Stop issuing Social Security checks and processing new applicants.
Quit issuing checks to anyone for anything.
Obviously the national parks system would close.
No food inspections.
No work on approving new drugs to save lives.
Maybe it is time to show America how completely out of touch with reality the Tea Party really is.
Shut it down.