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Shutdown editorial misses several important points

An Oct. 2 News editorial ignores some important facts regarding the current government shutdown, while its tea party diatribe misses the point.

The Constitution requires that appropriation bills originate in the House. These shutdowns are hardly unusual; since 1976 there have been 17, totaling 110 days involving a variety of disagreements between the president and Congress. Fully 15 occurred when Democrats controlled the House.

The last House bill sent to the Senate prior to the shutdown would have postponed the Obamacare individual mandate for a year while prohibiting Congress members, their staffs and top administrators from getting taxpayer subsidies not available to individual citizens. President Obama had unilaterally delayed the mandate covering businesses by a year as a sop to big business and big labor.

The Senate triggered the shutdown by rejecting this bill, allowing the Obama administration to designate which government activities would continue and which would not. The Senate rejected Speaker John Boehner’s requests for the normal conference committee negotiations to resolve the differences, the procedure followed in the previous 17 shutdowns. Obama also refused to negotiate.

After Obamacare was passed in 2010, six Democratic senators and 64 members of Congress lost their jobs and the law has remained unpopular with a majority of Americans ever since. It looks like the “loony tea party” may have a lot of company.

The only senior government official who has cast doubt on raising the debt ceiling is, inexplicably, the president himself. Sen. Harry Reid tells CNN that he can’t worry about one child with cancer when 1,100 of his constituents have been temporarily furloughed.

Imperial rule has its pitfalls. In 1776, a statue of King George III in New York City was pulled over and melted down for Revolutionary bullets 13 years after being erected by a grateful public.

Malcolm Vanderburgh

Getzville