By Nikki Hager
After 16 days of a partial government shutdown, Congress passed legislation reopening the government, just hours before the US was to reach the debt ceiling. However, this solution is only temporary.
Unless Congress can pass additional legislation, the government will shut down again on Jan. 15 and reach the debt ceiling on Feb. 7.
Financial ratings agency Standard & Poor estimated the cost of the shutdown to be $24 billion, .6 percent of the U.S. fourth quarter GDP.
Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma’s first district congressman, voted against the measure that eventually reopened the government. The first district encompasses the Tulsa metropolitan area, including Tulsa, Washington and Wagoner counties and part of Rogers and Creek counties.
“I voted ‘No’ on the bill to raise the debt ceiling without any spending controls and fund the government without providing any relief to millions of Americans being harmed by Obamacare,” said Bridenstine in a press release from Oct. 16.
The House has attempted to repeal or defund The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, roughly 42 times.
It has yet to be repealed.
“The reason the federal government is shut down is because President Obama and his allies continue to protect a failed law that is hurting the country.
Congress should ensure not another dime of taxpayer money is spent on Obamacare,” said Bridenstine in a press release from Oct. 1.
While the Supreme Court established the constitutionality of the American Affordable Care Act in Summer of 2012, Congressmen Bridenstine was not impressed.
“Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s constitutional,” said Bridenstine in a Daily Caller interview last March.
I called both Bridenstine’s Tulsa and DC offices and emailed him on Oct. 2, immediately after the government shutdown, for further comment. Bridenstine has yet to respond.
“The President’s policy of funding all of the government or none of the government violates the principles of a representative republic and is devastating to a nation historically governed by consensus,” said Bridenstine in his Oct. 16 press release.
Alternatively, Bridenstine suggested a piecemeal approach, that the government should continue to fund the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Energy and Water Development.
Following Bridenstine’s approach, the majority of the 1 million government workers that were furloughed during the shutdown would have continued to be out of work, but at least they wouldn’t be burdened with the economic misfortunes of Obamacare.
The consequences of the shutdown on the Republican Party were significant.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 74 percent of Americans disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling budget negotiations.
Additionally, the overall approval of congressional Republicans is the lowest it has been in party history, 28 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll.
The negative consequences of the government shutdown continue both financially and in public opinion, and another budget showdown looms just around the corner.
While Bridenstine has not publically said how he will act come January when this week’s legislation expires, Bridenstine stands by his vote against reopening the government.