In case you have not been paying attention to the news lately, there is another federal government shutdown on the horizon. The U.S. Senate has still not made a budget; therefore, the government will need more funds next month to run the government. This shutdown will be about the power of purse just as most of them are.
The Washington Post reported that there have been “seventeen separate government shutdowns (or `spending gaps’ in Hill jargon)” since 1976 when the “modern congressional budgeting process” went into effect. I lived through every single one of those government shutdowns and survived! I can tell you that nothing bad happened other than the closure of a federal offices for a few days or weeks while the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of the government got their acts together. Republican (including Mitch McConnell) and Democrat naysayers are telling all kinds of lies about what will happen if the government shuts down again, such as claiming that the United States will not be able to pay its debts, etc. Do not believe their lies!
Support is growing among Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to attach a rider to the upcoming Continuing Resolution to fund the government until the end of the fiscal year. The rider would defund all agencies involved with implementing the executive orders on immigration that Mr. Obama has promised. The Democrats will not like the amendment, leading Mr. Obama and the Democrats being forced to choose either passing the amendment or shutting down the government on December 13, 2014.
An article at the Washington Post took a look at the last seventeen shutdowns, “the political circumstances around them and what happened as a consequence.” They went to their print archives for the specifics for most of them.
A large number of the shutdowns occurred during the Reagan Administration when Tip O’Neil (Democrat) was Speaker of the House. Another large number occurred during the Jimmy Carter Administration when Democrats held the White House, the Senate, and the House; some happened during the Clinton Administration. There was one during the President George H. W. Bush, and none during the administration of President George W. Bush. Neither Bush administrations did much about controlling spending.
Mark Levin reads and discusses the Washington Post article here. I found his remarks very interesting and encourage you to listen to him even though he does raise his voice a number of times.
Our Founding Fathers gave the “power of the purse” to the U.S. House of Representatives. The House has the right and the responsibility to withhold tax payer funds for any government program if there is a belief the money is spent for the wrong reasons. There is a real battle in our government between conservatives and progresses (both Democrat and Republican); conservatives are attempting to keep our nation from going off the “cliff” while progressives keep trying to speed up the destruction. I encourage you to read the Washington Post article and then listen to Mark Levin. I believe that you will come away from the experience with a better understanding about government shutdowns.