After a disgraceful 16-day government shutdown in which many members of Congress threatened to force the United States Of America to default on its obligations, a short-term deal has finally been cut.
It’s not a long-term deal, of course.
In fact, it’s not even a medium-term deal.
It’s a two or three month deal.
Which means that the Congress-people elected to lead our country will once again soon be in their favourite position in the world: In front of TV cameras grandstanding about how “the opposition” is destroying the country and demanding that everyone kowtow to their every demand.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Last night, the House of Representatives passed the bill that temporarily re-opened the government and avoided (or at least postponed) a voluntarily national default.
Any responsible leader who put the country’s interests ahead of his or her own political career would obviously have voted to support this bill. After a needless 16-day shutdown and high-volume threats, the best deal possible had been cut, and it would have been the height of irresponsibility and selfishness to actually send the U.S. into default.
And 285 members of the House did, in fact, vote to pass the bill — which is why it passed. These “yea” voters included all of the Democrats in the House and some of the Republicans. Today, America should send a big “thank you” to all of these folks. They put the country’s interests first, just the way any responsible leader should.
But 144 members of the house did not vote to pass this bill.
On the contrary… They voted to reject it.
In other words, as Dan Alpert of Westwood Capital observed this morning, 144 people elected to represent this country in Washington voted to keep the government closed and send the United States into default.
All of these 144 people are Republicans.
One of them, Paul Ryan, who was recently a candidate to be Vice President of the country, has a reputation for being fiscally responsible, on account of some budget ideas he has put forward in recent years. Ryan’s vote to send the U.S. into default should delete this reputation for fiscal responsibility once and for all.
Here are the members of the House who voted to send the US into default. Click for a larger view and to also see all of the 285 responsible leaders who did the right thing.
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