column

By Ella Koscher

On Oct. 1, the United States had its first government shutdown in 17 years. Though UA as a whole was not greatly affected, emotions ran high.

A friend of mine was mad because the national parks were closed. Others argued that since the government shutdown, we should not have to go to school. I even saw some jokes about whether or not America was going to be like the movie The Purge. (It wasn’t.)

Many were confused about why the government shut down. Well, let me break it down for you:

It is the job of Congress to determine the federal government’s budget by Oct. 1 each year. This September, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a budget bill, sneaking in the bill a one-year delay of a portion of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

The Democrat-dominated Senate refused to pass this legislation and created a ‘clean’ bill that did not mention Obamacare. The two legislative bodies could not compromise, and as a result no budget was passed. The government shut down on the first of October.

The United States government shut down for 17 days. Hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and several less essential government agencies were almost completely closed.

In a failed attempt to weaken Obamacare, Republicans—particularly those controlled by the Tea Party—took the government hostage to weaken a law that, according to the Washington Post, 59 percent of Americans support.

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and for the moment, Republicans have to face the fact that there is no changing that.

Millions of Americans were affected by this shutdown simply because our legislatures could not reach a compromise. Or in other words, do their jobs.

Finally, on Oct. 17, Congress reached a compromise budget bill (Obamacare was not mentioned).

At the end of the day, Senators and Representatives spent a good couple of hours publically patting themselves on the back.

The last time I checked, bipartisan compromise in Congress is their job, not some special occasion that should be celebrated.

Here is my message to our legislatures: America is angry with you. Our government is not something for you or the Tea Party to take hostage.

Legislators: Get back to work. Stop messing around with the people’s government and lives, and start passing real legislation (immigration reform, gun control, etc.) that will actually impact Americans in a positive way.