The US Government shutdown has entered his third day without a sight of an agreement between the Obama’s administration and the Republican’s opposition to approve the Federal Budget over the funding of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans want the health care law retired or delayed in exchange to approve the budget and in that way reopen the Government. After the last meeting in the White House, the Speaker of the House Republican John Boehner said Obama “will not negotiate.” Democrats said they would never allow Republicans to overturn Obama’s health care law.
The shutdown arrives in a very delicate situation. In a speech when the shutdown began, president Obama said that “we may not know the full impact of this Republican shutdown for some time. It will depend on how long it lasts. But we do know a couple of things. We know that the last time Republicans shut down the government in 1996, it hurt our economy. And unlike 1996, our economy is still recovering from the worst recession in generations”.
The Washington post has a poll in his on-line pages with an estimate of how long its readers thing the shutdown can last and they say around 18 days. So no hopes among the Washingtonians about a fast resolution of this crisis. There is an important vote due to October 17 because the US faces a historic debt default unless Congress agrees to raise the US borrowing limit on that date. Some think the two issues will be part of an agreement despite Obama said he will not negotiate unless the Government reopens with a vote on the budget first.
Each day in shutdown means millions in losses, hundreds of thousands of government workers considered non-essential at home and a lot more considered essential working without paychecks. The president had to cancel a trip abroad. And as Obama said, Wall Street already took notice of this with two days of drops in the Standard & Poor 500 index.
Nobody gains in this situation. The shutdown is highly unpopular and a fast agreement is the best thing to go out of this mess. But it seems nobody is ready to give up yet.