Government Shutdown

Start with this video.

For background on the causes of the shutdown, read the Washington Posts's take: The Shutdown is the Constitution's Fault

The House isn't likely to vote on a "clean" Continuing Resolution any time now, because the Speaker of the House controls what bills come to the floor for vote. So how do we get around that? A discharge petition might be the answer. Here's the inside scoop on the why a discharge petition might not work though. The Washington Post piles on with additional analysis on the discharge petition situation. Even the National Review can't see it happening.

The Wall Street Journal opines, "The most striking aspect of this fight overall is that neither party's leaders picked it. One Republican member of Congress likens the situation to a legend surrounding the Battle of Gettysburg, which holds that Confederate soldiers went on a mission to find shoes for the troops, stumbled upon a big deployment of Union troops, and accidentally opened the door for an epic battle."

These survey results suggest that things are probably not going to be over any time soon.

The economic effects of the shutdown may be less than predicted due to a bill that converted the furloughs to paid vacations.

If you are in the mood for a more personal take on the government shutdown's effects, read this. (Hankies probably required.) Or this list of
50 trickle-down effects of the government shutdown.

Why Obama rejected piecemeal funding in one graph.

10/9/13: The Center Folds
10/9/13: Patty Murray (D-WA) Op-Ed in the Seattle Times
10/9/13: Republicans are losing the blame game

Debt Ceiling

Mark your calendars for October 17th, because if Democrats and Republicans haven't reached an agreement by then, that's when things are going to get really interesting (and by that I mean bad). "The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday said it would exhaust emergency measures to avoid falling behind on government obligations no later than Oct. 17 and would be left with $30 billion in cash to run the government, a warning that could hasten fiscal discussions on Capitol Hill."

Four Reasons Why Debt Ceiling Breach Means Default

But will the Senate vote to raise the debt ceiling in order to force the House's hand? (Don't miss the nifty Back and Forth Infographic.)

If Congress can't reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, there are at least Three Ways Obama Could Raise the Debt Ceiling On His Own writes Eric Posner.

Juan Linz's Bad News for America addresses the more general issue of assessing political responsibility and making representatives responsible to their constituents. His assessment makes it questionable that the "right" people will be blamed for the current controversy.

Just in case things were looking too bleak, here's the silliest (yet still astoundingly legal) option to get out of the debt ceiling crisis.


Unless marked with (Opinion) please answer these questions factually.

  1. What is an appropriations bill?
  2. What is the purpose of a continuing resolution?
  3. Why did Congress not pass a continuing resolution? (This is a big one, consider the desires of both political parties and the structure of the legislative branch.)
    1. What do the Republicans in the House want and why won't the Democrats in the Senate accept it?
    2. What do the Democrats in the Senate want and why won't the Republicans in the House accept it?
    3. How does the structure of the legislative branch require that they reach an agreement?
  4. What will need to change in order to see the Government start up again?
  5. (Opinion) Do you believe that the consequences of the shutdown are worth the political objectives? (Remember the implied why.)
  6. What are the expected consequences if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling?
  7. Why is the debt ceiling potentially a bigger deal than the government shutdown?