Government Shutdown Avoided: Who Won?
The federal government narrowly avoided a government shutdown on Friday, but who came out on the winning side of Washington’s latest political tug of war? DPD takes a look at news reports throughout the nation to determine who got their way, and who was “cut” from the process.
- Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
- Millions of computer users
Boehner may have been outnumbered by Democrats at the table 2-to-1, but by the way the final deal shaped up, you wouldn’t know it. The Speaker got $38.5 billion dollars in cuts, including $2 billion in a short-term stopgap measure running through Thursday as staffers put the finishing touches on his long-term deal (1). In an interview with Fox News, Boehner said that he and President Barack Obama “understand each other better,” and that Boehner had “developed a process” that will allow him to continue working with the Obama administration over the next two years (2).
Meanwhile, in the virtual realm, a shutdown threatened to furlough scores of people who work for federal contractors, including those who operate websites for the government. The furlough would have lingered until Congress passed a funding resolution — anywhere from a day to weeks. The financial impact potentially could have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars, underscoring the government’s keen emphasis on e-government to run basic operations, say industry experts (3).
- Congressional Democrats
- Washington D.C.
According to BBC News’ Mark Mardell, congressional Democrats didn’t come off as well as Tea Party activists and congressional Republicans (4):
They look like realists, but they’ve given a lot of ground. These cuts will hurt their natural supporters and undermine plans and projects dear to their hearts. The tactics were quite skilful but I can’t see the strategy.
Congressional Democrats are not the only ones in a precarious position. The D.C. government is “often financially beholden to the whims of Congress,” and against the district’s wishes, Republicans managed to ban it from spending its own funds on abortions or needle exchanges. Yet somehow “the GOP did find the necessary funds to restart the city’s controversial school voucher program,” says Charles Lemos in MyDD, which is both a “boondoggle for religious schools” and a pet issue for Boehner (5).