The federal government is again open following a two week shutdown. Following a U.S. House vote Wednesday evening to approve a Senate deal proposed earlier in the day, Obama signed the bill Thursday morning.
By allowing the debt ceiling to increase and removing any mention of ObamaCare, Republican leaders in both chambers gave the left virtually everything it wanted. This bill merely kicks the can down the road, however, as the same issues that caused the stalemate will be up for discussion again in just a few months.
When the Republican-led House was unable to advance its proposal earlier in the week, a bill supported by Senate Democrats was passed in its stead. While every Democrat in the House supported the measure, 144 principled Republicans voted against it. The bill received 87 GOP votes.
Obama signed the bill just hours before reaching a deadline by which he said the debt ceiling must be raised. What some consider a manufactured crisis likely added to the pressure Republicans felt to approve a deal.
Back pay for furloughed federal employees is one of the only stable aspects of the bill, which only funds the government until mid-January and lifts the debt limit until Feb. 7.
While House Speaker John Boehner applauded the efforts of his fellow Republicans, saying they “fought the good fight,” other members of the party were noticeably less satisfied.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) described the bill as “yet another promise to work on the problem tomorrow,” while Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) simply called the deal “terrible.”
While some conservative members of the GOP are willing to stand up to a tyrannical administration and rally support among the people, debacles like the recent shutdown prove that their numbers are far too small. Establishment Republicans are quick to concede defeat in a battle against Obama and the left.
We will have an opportunity to revisit these issues early next year; and, with midterm elections following just a few months later, Republicans need to feel the pressure from their constituents to stand firm for American values.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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