Call The Shutdown Leaders Who Cost The US $24 Billion And Tell Them What You Think
On Wednesday, the federal government finally ended a 16-day shutdown. The far-right Republicans who blocked the funding received almost nothing that they wanted, and their symbolic protest cost the US economy an estimated $24 billion.
The shutdown also hurt the outlook on the economy’s growth; and since the compromise passed this week only funds the government through Jan. 15, cautious consumer spending and pessimistic investing is expected to continue through the holiday season.
The shutdown was engineered in an attempted to defund the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a law that was approved by both houses of Congress, signed by the democratically-elected president, and has withstood several challenges in the judicial system including in the Supreme Court. Some congressional Republicans have now voted unsuccessfully to repeal or dismantle the law 46 times, including several times during the shutdown itself.
Almost all criticisms about the ACA- including that it will kill jobs; force employers to disproportionately cut hours, coverage, or benefits; raise all premiums; introduce death panels; largely force satisfied customers off existing plans; and/or force taxpayers to pay for “freeloaders”- have been widely disproved for years. In addition, many of the most criticized parts of Obamacare have only just taken effect or have still not been initiated.
Four Republican legislators are largely credited with initiating the shutdown: Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Mike Lee (UT), and Reps. Tom Graves (GA) and Mark Meadows (NC). Cruz and Graves sponsored bills to defund Obamacare, which were attached to the continuing resolutions which fund the government. Lee and Meadows circulated letters promising not to vote for a CR containing Obamacare funding. Meadows’ open letter to House leaders John Boehner (OH) and Eric Cantor (VA) garnered 80 signatures.
If the readers of Dr.Jay’s Live would like to contact these elected officials and comment on their recent behavior, phone numbers for their Washington offices are below.
Sen. Ted Cruz: (202) 224-5922
Rep. Tom Graves: (202) 225-5211
Rep. Mark Meadows: (202) 225-6401
Sen. Mike Lee: (202) 224-5444