Day 8: Whew, it’s been a week already? Happy one week shutdown anniversary, everybody! Speaking of anniversaries, I was at a wonderful wedding over the weekend, and so I have some catching up to do. So, like, is the government still shut down? What do you say, Fox News graphic?
What was up in the air with days 5, 6, 7, and 8?
Day 5 (Saturday): The House unanimously passed a bill to retroactively pay all furloughed federal employees once the government re-opens.
Pro: Yay, I’ll get paid!
Con: Why should I get paid for not working?
Pro: Don’t be such a martyr. First of all, it’s not all about you. Second of all, it’s not your fault that you’re not working.
Con: What about all the ‘essential’ federal employees who are working right now, and also not getting paid? For example, these federal prison employees are still working. These TSA employees are still working. None of them are getting paid while they work. How in the world is this fair to them? What am I, on paid vacation or something?
Pro: It’s not fair to them, but it’s also not your fault. It’s just the way things are working out.
Con: But– if they agree now on backpay, then there’s one less source of pressure on everyone to come to an agreement and re-open the government. And then who knows how long this’ll go on?
Pro: Well…that’s true.
Day 6 (Sunday): No one really did anything. After the wedding, I went to the outlets with my friends, contemplated the stubborn challenges of adulthood. Like acne. Well, more specifically– having wrinkles and acne at the same time. Mmm, well, if we’re putting it all out there– wrinkles and acne and chin hair.
The Atlantic posted a similarly dispiriting blog couplet: Sunday Shutdown Reader #1 and Sunday Shutdown Reader #2. It went something like this:
Sunday Shutdown Reader #1: How many times do we need to refight the Civil War?
Sunday Shutdown Reader #2: The Serbs have been refighting the Battle of Blackbird Fields since 1389.
Day 7 (Monday): Conference Blog, the blog of http://www.gop.gov (which, according to its…self is the ‘website of the House Republican majority’), posted an explanation of why Obamacare is unfair. Meanwhile, democrats.org posted a blog about how “John Boehner is afraid.” The Christian Science Monitor posted a piece titled “Government Shutdown: Are Things Getting Better– Or Worse?” Here’s a hint: there are comparisons to the Battle of Gettysburg. Here’s another hint: the article includes a Bloomberg video in which the analyst holds up two hands and pretends they are cars speeding toward each other.
Day 8 (Today): The Senate is taking its time with this whole backpay thing. Meanwhile, the House passed H.J. Res 84: Head Start Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, seemingly continuing with the idea of passing legislation to fund specific parts of the government. There are rumblings that House Republicans will bring a bill to the floor to create a 20-member bicameral, bipartisan committee to work out both how to fund the government and how to handle the debt ceiling. The committee would be called the Bicameral Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth, and would have 10 members from the House and 10 from the Senate. According to the National Journal, the legislation creating the committee stipulates that it could not recommend anything– “unless it receives the support of a majority of the members appointed by both the Speaker and the majority leader of the Senate.”
So– this committee of 20 people will be able to…come to a majority consensus on something? I hate to quibble, but don’t we need an odd number of people to avoid a deadlock? Also, I seem to remember another recent bipartisan committee experience. And, you know, that seemed to go well.
Today is also the day I got offered a part-time job. So hey, small victories.