US Shutdown: What happens now the government can’t pay the bills??

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve never really understood the US political system.  I suppose when the Constitution was written that it might have made sense to have the protection of ‘checks and balances’ but did they anticipate the sort of political shenanigans that would result today with political power being divided between the three camps of the Senate, House of Representatives and the President.  I suppose I have a deeply cynical view of politicians anyway but this will always remain a mystery to me.


Go Home

Obamacare has caused a stir.
Republicans don’t want it there
and the Democrats, they won’t defer.
Barack himself said he won’t budge.
Will they kludge some vital clause
with weasel words that draw the sting
from a Bill at the heart of Obama’s cause?

Meanwhile, if you’re a federal employee,
here’s the effect, the political decree ……….

G-O  H-O-M-E
Go home!!
Do not pass Go.
Do not collect two hundred pounds,
(or maybe that’s dollars,
that’s what follows, I suppose).
Today, tomorrow, every day
is ‘furlough leave’, or holiday.
Until further notice stay away
and, by the way, there is no pay.
The US Government now is closed.

So all non-essential personnel
just pack your bags and go to hell
whilst we play our political games,
ducking and diving,
sniping and scoring,
jibing and warring.
To us politicians it’s all the same
and Barack Obama will get the blame.

By the way, did we say,
perhaps we didn’t quite explain
that we’re most essential.
We’re the quintessential animus of State.
Don’t gripe or moan or make a fuss,
the Constitution says that you need us.
The game’s been nicely played
so the Senate, the Congress, the President
all still get paid.

30th September 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  US Shutdown: What happens now the government can’t pay the bills??”  Partisan gridlock in Washington has triggered a partial shutdown of the US government, with Republicans and Democrats failing to agree a deal to keep federal agencies funded past a midnight deadline.  Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to countenance any measure that left the President’s healthcare reforms – known collectively as Obamacare – untouched. The Senate, controlled by the Democrats, was equally adamant, stripping out any Obamacare-related provisions in funding bills approved by the House and demanding that the Republican-controlled chamber approve a “clean” bill, one that deals solely with the budget issue.  With no budget, the US government will have no choice but to send hundreds of thousands of federal workers on unpaid leave, affecting agencies as varied as the Justice Department, Nasa, the National Parks Service and the Pentagon in the first shutdown in nearly two decades.

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