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Washington Confuses the World

October 14, 2013
Plain English Version

Opinion

It is easy to be confused about America. For some reason, elected officials cannot agree on whether the country should be in business. Federal agencies are laying off workers. Programs in medical research are stopping. The payroll divisions  in federal agencies are closing.

The reason appears to be that very conservative (frequently called the “Tea Party”) Republicans in the House of Representatives will not vote to let the government function. That is, until they have their way.

Their way is for the House, the Senate and the President to all agree to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare as it is now called).

There is no chance that will happen. Then some Republicans lowered their sights. Just delay Obamacare a year, they said.

Having failed to accomplish anything, they have found a new cause. On October 17, 2013, the country has to increase its debt limit. This means raise enough money to pay money America owes to people, banks and to other countries. If the congress does not vote to raise the debt-ceiling limit, it will be because many of these Tea Party Republicans want the United States to default. This will send the world economy into a potential disaster.

Reasonable people may ask if this madness can be stopped? The answer is yes. The House of Representatives can vote to reopen the government and raise the debt-ceiling limit.

The Speaker of the House, John Boehner of Ohio, has the power to call for such a vote.

About 66 members of the House support the Tea Party. They are all Republicans. The House has 435 members, the majority of whom are Republicans. So how can 66 people hold up the whole House?

The answer seems to be that Speaker Boehner is afraid to take on the Tea Party. He believes they will persuade enough of the other members to vote against him for the Speakership. To put it simply, he is trying to keep his job.

In the meantime, the world watches, waits and tries to figure out why the United States has become such a crazy place.

Source: The Editor                                                                                                                  October 13, 2013

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