Captain Rick: A shutdown of the U.S. Government will most likely begin on October 1, 2013, the beginning of the new fiscal year. There is currently no budget agreement to fund the U.S. Government for the coming year. The Democrat led Senate and the the Republican led House are in a stalemate that does not appear likely will be rectified by October 1. The real showdown will come on or before October 17, when the U.S. Government reaches the debt ceiling of $16.699 trillion and will begin defaulting on its financial obligations, an event that has never before occurred.

The last threat of shutdown occurred on March 27, 2013. It was averted by an agreement to allow Sequester spending cut’s (part of the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ legislation that became effective on January 1, 2013) to gain some flexibility regarding where to make spending cuts, in lieu of the mandatory across the board cuts.

My goal is to help increase understanding of the extremely important events that are unfolding…


U.S. Government Shutdown … What will happen? Non essential elements of the government will begin shutting down. These are things like National Parks and Monuments and the federal employees and contractors that support them. The employees would be furloughed. Contractors would have their payments delayed. At no time in the past has a shutdown lasted for more than a month. In every case the contractors eventually got paid and the furloughed employees were awarded back pay, so in essence, they received a nice long paid vacation, compliments of the U.S. taxpayers. In every previous case of shutdown, it ended up costing tax payers more than if the government had remained open.

What does a shutdown accomplish? Nothing, except increased cost. It is however, a necessary reminder that our government needs spending to remain less than revenue. In reality the U.S. has been spending far more than it receives in revenue, especially in recent years.

U.S annual spending: $3.52 trillion

U.S. annual revenue: $2.69 trillion

U.S. annual deficit: $825 billion

Total U.S. National debt: $16.95 trillion

U.S. GDP: $15.91 trillion (U.S. Debt exceeds GDP…a wake up call to get the fiscal house in order…or prepare for economic destruction)

Who is to blame? First and foremost to blame is President Obama. He is our president, elected to lead our nation in a positive direction…yet he has demonstrated the most reckless spending in American history, especially with his Fed’s continuation of pumping $85 billion per month of ‘Quantitative Easing’ debt dollars into the American Economy (adding directly to the U.S. National Debt) in an effort to make an economically sick nation look just anemic. It is all ‘smoke and mirrors’ that is doing nothing more than increasing America’s debt at an astronomic expense and burden to future generations.  Second to blame is the entire U.S. Legislature, including the Senate and House, Republicans and Democrats. None of them impress me as having the intelligence or ability to agree on a plan to withdraw America from its insatiable addiction for debt spending far beyond its revenue. I believe most of them have their ‘pockets’ fed by ‘big money’.

Obama passes blame and creates fear in news conference: Today I listened to President Obama speak in a news conference casting fear upon Americans by placing blame for his reckless spending on the shoulders of the U.S. House:
“If Congress chooses not to pass a budget by Monday, the end of the fiscal year, they will shut down the government along with many vital services that the American people depend on,” The Senate “acted responsibly” by passing its bill, and “now it’s up to the Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same.”
He asked Republicans “to think about who you’re hurting” by letting the government shut down, and said “it would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction.”
He also made clear that a government shutdown wouldn’t stop the Affordable Care Act from being implemented. “That’s not going to happen. More than 100 million Americans currently already have new benefits and protections under the law. On Tuesday, about 40 million more Americans will be able to finally buy quality affordable health care just like anybody else.”

Reality Check. What really happened: This was one of the most disgusting, fear-causing set of statements I have heard President Obama make recently. What really happened is that the House sent a bill to the Senate that included defunding Obamacare (a program with an enormous cost that America can not afford at this time of financial crisis). The Senate revised the bill to remove the Obamacare defunding and sent it back to the House. In opposition to Obama’s statement, I believe the Senate did not act responsibly. If the House does not pass the bill on Monday (which it should not), it will not be the House that causes the shutdown as Obama warns. It will be the result of the failure of the President and the entire U.S. Legislature combined. Obama said that a shutdown will stop many vital services. This is not true, unless the shutdown lasted for a long period of time…or Obama chooses to focus on certain entities for political gain. Obama’s scare tactics of asking Republicans to ‘think of who they are hurting’ by the government shutdown are absolutely despicable. President Obama should ask himself who he is hurting by spreading such fear and lies. This shutdown does throw a ‘wrench’ into Obamas ‘gears’ to make the economy look ok, when it is really sucking badly. Obama is fixated on Obamacare, a mark he hopes the world will remember him by. He will push it, even if it contributes to the financial destruction of America.  In reality, 40 million Americans are going to find out that ‘affordable health care’ is not really affordable and the majority of them will pay (or evade) the penalty to avoid it. The resultant unexpected, massive costs will lie firmly on the backs of American tax payers and add directly to the U.S. national debt.  I have this on my list of future blog reports. It sounds to me like Obama is running scared and is choosing to hide his fear by casting false fear on Americans. That scares me. Does it scare you?

View the comments (below) for ongoing updates of important happenings at the U.S. Capitol concerning this unfolding story.

I have done my very best to chronicle the events that contributed to this first U.S. government shutdown in nearly 18 years…as displayed in my comment updates below. This report could be among the best chronicles on the web. I am honored that Google and other search engines have picked up on this report.  The views for this report have exceeded those of all other ANJ reports by a factor of 10X+. The view stats from the past week far surpass any previous week. It tells me that there are lots of people that are tuning into this blog post to get the real facts…not the hype found on virtually all web news sites and especially TV news casts.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

U.S. Government Shutdown


U.S. Debt Crisis

Fed Financial Policy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101


  1. Lina Hatch says:

    Excellent post, Captain Rick. Thank you for stating details clearly and factually.

  2. atridim says:

    UPDATE: House to vote on amendments to fund government while delaying Obamacare

    The House of Representatives will vote later today on two amendments to a government funding bill that would delay President Barack Obama’s signature health care law for a year and repeal a tax on medical devices that helps fund Obamacare, according to a statement from House Speaker John Boehner’s office.

    Senate Democrats have said they would reject any changes to the funding bill they sent back to the House on Friday which stripped out a House provision that defunded Obamacare. Obama said on Friday that he was open to specific ideas that might improve the law “through the normal democratic processes. But that will not happen under the threat of a shutdown.”

    If the House and Senate cannot reconcile their differences in the funding bill, it could force a partial government shutdown when the fiscal year ends at midnight Monday.

    The House bill would also fund the government through mid-December, rather than mid-November as the Senate version calls for. Boehner’s office also said the House would vote on a measure that would ensure members of the military are paid if a funding bill is not passed.

  3. Spencer says:

    The president made a speech a couple days ago. He says the government has never been shut down over the debt limit. Yet it did when Newt Gingrich was speaker and President Clinton was in office.
    Then he says he is willing to work with anyone. Actions speak louder than words Mr President. I have not seen him as willing to talk or negotiate it seems more of my way or the highway with him. And you say its over healthcare law and not just over reducing the debt. Both can be one in the same. Unless the president forgets that his healthcare law also adds One TRILLION dollars to the US government debt. The entire speech was PR spin for him, and forgot to deal with reality that yes government has been shut down, yes its about debt and yes that debt does have to do with your healthcare law, that is also being a damper on employment and healthcare coverage for many that do have it, that are losing it or are not covered because of what YOU have passed. This is also not the first time in history that congress or the President has defunded something because they didn’t like it. As a disclaimer I agree with defunding Obamacare. I believe it will cause financial harm to our nation and the extra debt it adds on will help destabilize our national debt. With our debt limit now 17 trillion dollars its only time before interest rates go up (which will happen when the Fed stops buying US government bonds or if they don’t ever stop buying bonds we will start to see massive inflation). Interest rates are currently pretty low but if they double and go to 5% we will be paying 500 BILLION dollars a year for our debt instead of our current 250 BILLION per year. Also the only reason deficits have gone down so fast is because we were at 1.6 TRILLION dollars from when you took office, now it’s only 800 BILLION, how about you talk numbers instead of talking rate of change. Oh and by the way this will increase to a higher deficit next if we bow to your wishes and fund Obamacare.

  4. atridim says:

    UPDATE: House begins debate to delay Obamacare + fund government until December 15 + ensure military pay during shutdown

    The House has begun debate on amendments to a federal spending proposal that would delay Obamacare for a year and wipe out its tax on medical devices. The move is in defiance of threatened rejection by Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama.

    The House is also considering proposals to fund the government until December 15 and ensure that the military gets paid in the event of a government shutdown on October 1.

    • atridim says:

      UPDATE: Arizona’s Rep. Salmon votes to keep government funded and delay Obamacare

      Salmon Votes to Keep Government Funded & Delay Obamacare
      Washington—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement regarding his vote on H.J. Res. 59, the Continuing Resolution for FY2014:

      “Tonight, House Republicans passed a bill that accomplishes what Americans want: keep the government funded and delay a law that is not ready for prime time.

      “Compromise is not commonplace in Washington these days, but this is exactly what House Republicans did in this legislation. With a government shutdown looming, we worked hard through the weekend to take the Senate’s version of the Continuing Resolution and find a solution that was both fair and reasonable. Meantime, instead of negotiating, Senate Democrats chose to break until Monday and President Obama decided to play golf.

      “It is now up to Harry Reid and the President to accept a responsible compromise to keep the government open.”

  5. atridim says:

    UPDATE: House passes amendment to delay Obamacare for 1 year

    House Republicans on Sunday pushed through an amended spending plan that would delay Obamacare for a year and wipe out its tax on medical devices, increasing the chances of a government shutdown in less than 48 hours because Senate Democrats reject the move and the White House said President Barack Obama would veto such a measure.

    The bill now goes back to the Senate, which had already stripped a provision from the bill that defunded Obama’s signature health care law before it went back to the Republican-controlled House.

    The Senate is not expected to reconvene until Monday afternoon, leaving little time for the two chambers to work out their differences and continue to keep the government running.

  6. Sandi Bartlett says:

    Well done Captain. Mind if I post this on my fb page?

  7. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Senate rejects House attempt to delay Obamacare

    As expected, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject the House’s attempts to delay Obamacare by one year and repeal the law’s medical device tax, while still funding the government.
    The vote sharply raises the chances of a shutdown beginning at midnight.

  8. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Dow Jones + S&P tumble as government shutdown nears

    The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 128.57 points (.84%) and the S&P 500 dropped .6% as a budget battle in Washington threatens the first government shutdown in 17 years. Congress has until a midnight deadline to avert the shutdown, but I hold very little hope of that happening.

  9. atridim says:

    UPDATE: House passes bill to keep government open, while delaying Obamacare

    The House passed a bill to keep the government open, while delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate and canceling health-insurance subsidies for members of Congress, their staff and the White House.

    The vote was 228 to 201.

    The Democratic Senate is expected to reject the House measure with a government shutdown just a few hours away.

    UPDATE: Senate makes second rejection + table amendments that delay Obamacare

    For the second time today, the Senate has rejected a House Republican effort to derail Obamacare tied to a spending bill that would avert a government shutdown at midnight.

    The Democratic-controlled Senate voted to table amendments that would have delayed the individual mandate in the health care law and eliminated health insurance premium subsidies for members of Congress, their staffs and the president.

  10. atridim says:

    UPDATE: President Obama warns about shutdown + Captain Rick’s rebuttal

    President Barack Obama warned Monday in a late afternoon statement in the White House briefing room: that a government shutdown could throw a “wrench” into the recovery of the U.S. economy, and said that it’s up to Congress to prevent a shutdown from starting at midnight. He went on to say in a “It does not have to happen. All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate has already done, and that’s the simple act of funding our government without making extraneous and controversial demands in the process.”
    Obama called out members of the tea party among House Republicans. “One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of the election,” he said. “You don’t get to exact a ransom just for doing your job,” he added.

    Captain Rick’s rebuttal:
    I must remind the president that the recovery of the US economy sucks very badly. If we subtracted the $85 billion per month that Obama’s Fed is bottle feeding the economy, which adds directly to the U.S. national debt, America would likely still be in recession. America’s GDP is limping along at a very anemic rate, under the 3% rate required to keep up with population growth. America’s national debt exceeds its GDP…a wake up call that our economy is in serious fiscal trouble.
    Watching the proceedings closely, as I have reported above, I do not agree with Obama’s assessment. What the Senate did was to present a ‘status quo’ resolution to keep the government funded at all cost, including Obamacare, with its wildly reckless expense of billions of dollars at a time when America can not afford such expansion…expansion that literally gives free healthcare to the bottom 1/3 of America, including 11+ million illegal aliens. Obamacare is the largest expansion of the welfare health program called Medicaid in American history. I am pleased that the House stood up and rejected this monumental expansion of U.S. debt.
    Its not the ‘Tea Party’ that is shutting down the U.S. government. It is Obama and his ‘my way…or the highway’ attitude, shared by his left wing friends in U.S. Senate that is primarily responsible for the eminent shutdown.

  11. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Arizona’s Rep. Matt Salmon statement: Republicans passed third bill to fund government…Senate rejected

    Washington—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement regarding his vote on H.J. Res. 59, the Continuing Resolution for FY2014:

    “For the third time, House Republicans passed a bipartisan bill to fund the government and protect Americans from the ever-mounting and damaging effects of Obamacare. Once again, our bill keeps the government open, protects Americans from being forced into Obamacare and puts Members of Congress and the President into the healthcare exchanges they created.

    “It seems that each day we hear about another delay or new exemption by the Obama Administration. This is not only unfair to the American taxpayer, but demonstrates this harmful law remains not ready for primetime

    “Senate Democrats continue to offer no solutions to this problem and choose to be the Party of NO. Make no mistake, Senate Democrats are threating to shut down the government by failing to compromise with House Republicans. The moment of truth is upon them, and I call on Harry Reid to be responsible and immediately act to prevent a government shutdown.”

  12. atridim says:

    UPDATE: An hour until midnight in D.C. with no agreement to stop shutdown in sight.
    Next deadline: America hits debt ceiling on October 17 and could begin default

    America is about an hour away from the beginning of an official shutdown of the U.S. Government, with no agreement in sight. The 1% hope for resolution that I had when I began this post on September 27 has vanished. This will be the first shutdown since 1996, 17 years ago. That one, the longest in history, lasted only about 3 weeks. Circumstances surrounding this shutdown are much more grave. On October 17, America will officially hit its debt ceiling of $16.699 trillion. If agreement is not reached prior to this date, America will begin defaulting on its obligations, an event that has never before happened in the history of the United States of America.

  13. atridim says:

    UPDATE: President signed legislation ensuring U.S. military member pay during shutdown

    President Obama signed legislation Monday night that ensures U.S. military members will get paid during any government shutdown. The legislation was originated by the U.S. House.
    The federal government shuts down at midnight if no agreement is reached in Congress on a spending bill.

  14. atridim says:

    UPDATE: House moves to appoint formal negotiators to a House-Senate conference

    House Republican leadership is moving to appoint formal negotiators to a House-Senate conference to try to hash out an agreement on a government-funding bill with Senate Democrats.

    House Republicans are trying to use the government funding debate to enact changes to Obamacare – a strategy Senate Democrats have rejected. This move is intended to try to force Senate Democrats to the negotiating table.

    The motion is likely to come to the floor shortly before midnight, when the government will shut down.

  15. atridim says:

    UPDATE: The U.S. Government has officially begun shutdown

    After the Senate rejected the House’s latest attempt to pass a spending bill that delayed the Affordable Care Act, the House stopped work on the bill late Monday and the federal government has shut down. The first shutdown in nearly two decades follows more than a week of legislative jockeying by House Republicans to extract concessions from President Obama and Senate Democrats on the Affordable Care Act.

    Agencies should “execute plans for an orderly shutdown” in anticipation of a lack of funding from Congress, the White House budget office said in a memo issued late Monday.

  16. atridim says:

    UPDATE: House requested Senate convene a conference committee…Senate rejects proposal

    A little more than an hour after the federal government began shutting down, House Republicans have voted to reaffirm Obamacare amendments they attached to a spending bill that would have kept the government running and that the Senate had earlier rejected.

    The House also requested that the Senate convene a conference committee to work out their differences over the funding plan but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already rejected that proposal, saying the Senate “will not negotiate with a gun to our head.” The House amendments would delay the Obamacare individual mandate and eliminate health insurance premium subsidies for members of Congress, their staffs and the president.

    Shortly after midnight, the White House ordered federal government agencies to begin shutting down, furloughing thousands of workers and curtailing some services for the first time in nearly 18 years.

  17. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Senate rejects House motion to go to conference with House. Democrats insist they will accept no provisions related to Obamacare

    The Senate voted 54-46 to reject a motion to go to conference with the House on the issue of funding the government, marking the third time in 24 hours the Senate has rejected an overture from the House related to avoiding a government shutdown. Senate Democrats have insisted they will accept from the House only a six-week funding bill with no provisions related to Obamacare.

  18. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Arizona’s Rep. Salmon statement about 4 actions by the House to prevent shutdown while the Senate refuses to ‘come to the table’ to discuss anything about Obamacare

    Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement on the introduction of legislation that would fund the Department of Veterans at Fiscal Year 2013 levels until January1, 2015 or until an appropriation bill is signed into law:

    “House Republicans rightly acted four times to avoid a government shutdown and protect Americans from the harmful effects of Obamacare. While Senator Harry Reid continues to refuse to come to the table, this bill makes sure our veterans are taken care of while Congress works to hammer out a final bill.

    Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed much on behalf of their nation. While the House passed a Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations bill to ensure the full operation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, unfortunately the Senate has failed to pass even one appropriations bill through regular order. Our veterans should not suffer because the U.S. Senate is unable to get their work done.

    Much like the recent bill signed into law to continue military pay during a government shutdown, this bill is responsible, simple, non-controversial and deserves immediate consideration. Now it is time to ensure certainty for our nation’s veterans who have already sacrificed so much for our nation. There is no reason why we cannot pass these non-controversial bills right now.”

    This bill funds the Department of Veterans Affairs at FY13 levels through Jan 1, 2015 or until the House and Senate reach an agreement.

  19. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Captain Rick’s thoughts concerning the stalemate between the U.S. Senate and U.S. House

    I have done my very best to chronicle the events that contributed to this first U.S. government shutdown in nearly 18 years…as displayed above. This report could be among the best chronicles on the web. I am honored that Google and other search engines have picked up on this report “U.S. Government Shutdown Looming Again on October 1, 2013.” The views for this report have exceeded those of all other ANJ reports by a factor of 10X+. The view stats from the past week far surpass any previous week. It tells me that there are lots of people that are tuning into this blog post to get the real facts…not the hype found on virtually all web news sites and especially TV news casts.

    I am compelled to weigh in at this moment of U.S. gridlock with my thoughts…

    Over past days I have watched the U.S. House present four plans to prevent U.S. government shutdown, which were focused on defunding or delaying Obamacare, a program I view as the most reckless increase in welfare spending in U.S. history. The U.S. Senate rejected all of them and offered no plans of their own. The Senate’s and Obama’s attitude of ‘my way or the highway’ is primarily responsible for this gridlock. The Senate refuses to discuss any bill that includes any defunding or delay of Obamacare. It appears to me that the Senate is fixated on Obamacare, a stone I believe President Obama is looking to cement his name on, and appears to have no intention of backing down on. I believe the U.S. Senate and President Obama need to realize that Obamacare is not worth placing America’s future in jeopardy over.

    I view the U.S. House as the clear winner in Round 1 of the ‘Great American Budget Showdown’. I hope the U.S. House will stand strong in defense of stopping reckless spending in an effort to stop America’s pending fiscal ‘train wreck’. I hope the Senate will come to its senses and realize that it is the real body holding America hostage.

    I remind all that the U.S debt ceiling is scheduled to be reached on October 17, according to the Congressional Budget Office. For those that think shutting down the government is bad news … entering U.S. default is far worse. The stalemate I see in D.C. tells me that America will enter default for the first time ever on or about October 17. Its better that the showdown occurs now, rather then when Americas train is sailing off of the real ‘fiscal cliff’ just a few miles ahead.

  20. atridim says:

    UPDATE: U.S. Sec. of Treasury confirms October 17 as date America will begin default, an event that has never happened.

    In a letter to Congress, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew said his department has begun using its “final extraordinary measures” to pay the nation’s bills and says its options will be exhausted if the debt limit is not raised by Oct. 17. As the shutdown of the federal government continues, the looming debt ceiling debate looks to be Congress’ next big hurdle.

  21. atridim says:

    UPDATE: The Government Shutdown effect on National Parks

    Neil J. Mulholland, CEO of National Parks Foundation emailed this:

    Impact on parks due to government shutdown
    • All 401 national parks across the country are closed affecting as many as 715,000 national park visitors each day the government remains shutdown.
    • More than 21,000 national park staff members have been furloughed

  22. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 1, 2013): Arizona’s Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) voluntarily requests his congressional pay be suspended for the duration of the appropriations lapse.

    “Washington has reached a new low in gridlock politics. House Republicans acted four times to pass a bill to prevent a government shutdown, and each time it was rejected by Senate Democrats. Even worse, now they are refusing to even come to the table, work together and find a solution to re-open the government.

    “Because this gridlock has unfairly affected thousands of furloughed federal employees, I have voluntarily requested that my congressional pay be suspended for the duration of the appropriations lapse.”

    A copy of the letter is available here:

  23. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 2, 2013): Day 2 of U.S. Shutdown

    President Barack Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday to discuss the need to reopen the government and raise the federal debt ceiling, according to the White House and a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.

    The Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, confirmed the meeting was set for 5:30 p.m. ET.

    “We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,” Buck said. “It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.”

    The meeting comes on the second day of a government shutdown caused by a stalemate triggered when House Republicans insisted on adding provisions to dismantle or delay Obamacare to a short-term spending measure needed to fund the government in the new fiscal year that started on Tuesday.

    A White House official said Obama’s message will be for Congress to pass a “clean” funding bill and debt ceiling measure.

    Later in the day….

    President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met at the White House for over an hour Wednesday evening, but appeared no closer to ending the government shutdown that began at midnight Monday.

    House Speaker John Boehner described the meeting as a “nice conversation, a polite conversation,” but told reporters that Obama refused to negotiate on the budget and the upcoming debt ceiling increase.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there would be no give on efforts to defund or delay parts of the Affordable Care Act. “We are locked in tight on Obamacare,” Reid said.

    Also at the meeting were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden.

    Congressional leaders met with President Obama at the White House and afterward offered no suggestion of progress on the government shutdown.

    Meanwhile, House Republicans pushed through targeted spending bills that would reopen the national parks, fund Washington D.C. government operations and fund the National Institutes of Health.

    The measures are unlikely to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has dismissed the piecemeal approach as “reckless.”

  24. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 2, 2013): Arizona’s Rep Matt Salmon speaks from the House floor about re-opening the Department of Veterans Affairs:


    With Washington reaching a new low in gridlock politics, now is not the time for more political gamesmanship. Our government is in a partial shutdown and it is critical that we begin re-opening non-controversial federal agencies so those who need government services do not continue to suffer from Congress’ inability to pass their annual spending bills. One of these critical federal agencies is the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    As the son of a World War II veteran, I am incredibly grateful for our nation’s veterans who have sacrificed so much on behalf of America.

    Because of my deep gratitude for all those who have served in our military, I introduced legislation last night that would re-open the Department of Veterans Affairs, so our veterans could immediately receive their full benefits that they earned and deserve.

    House Republicans acted quickly to bring a bill to the floor that accomplished this, and I was proud to speak on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives supporting this bill and paying tribute to all of our veterans.


    In a shameful political stunt, House Democrats killed this bill last night. Even more shameful, the President issued a veto threat before the House began consideration. It is disappointing that the White House continues to issue veto threats on responsible, simple, non-controversial bills and Senate Democrats refuse to even meet and negotiate. The time for the President and Senate Democrats to sit down with House Republicans and discuss how to re-open our government is NOW.

    My speech on the floor is included in the link to the right. Please take a couple minutes to watch it, and if you agree with me, I encourage you to share this message with your friends and family. Tell them to contact their elected officials in Washington and demand they stop holding our veterans hostage and begin voting on responsible legislation to re-open our non-controversial federal agencies like Veterans Affairs.

    These are trying times for our nation, but I never forget how honored I am to represent you in Congress.

    Thank you, and I hope to hear from you soon.
    Matt Salmon

  25. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 2, 2013): Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement on Day 2 of the government shutdown:

    “We’re now almost 48 hours into a partial shutdown and House Republicans have continued to take steps to end the shutdown by re-opening key parts of our government. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have failed to even show up and negotiate. President Obama and Harry Reid will have you believe that Republicans are acting recklessly and unreasonably by voting to re-open the government in piecemeal fashion. Mr. President, if House Republicans are acting recklessly and unreasonably, why then are numerous Democrats in the House voting along with Republicans to pass bipartisan legislation to fund the government? I believe reckless is voting against funding for our veterans and life-saving cancer research. Sadly, that’s exactly what most Democrats in the House did. Democrat Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Ron Barber did the right thing by bucking the will of President Obama and Harry Reid and taking a stand against their heartless strategy. I hope President Obama and Harry Reid listen to more Democrats who want to compromise and get the government running again.”

  26. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 3, 2013): Day 3 of Shutdown

    House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republican legislators that he’d be willing to rely on Democrats to help raise the federal government’s debt limit, according to a House Republican who attended a private meeting where Boehner was present.

    The debt ceiling is the next fiscal fight looming for Democrats and Republicans, who held their ground on the third day of a federal government shutdown tied to Congress’ inability to agree on a spending plan.

    Officials say the federal debt ceiling needs to be increased by October 17 to avoid having the United States default on its obligations.

  27. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 4, 2013): Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement on day 4 of the government shutdown regarding the Obama Administration’s latest strategy to avoid negotiations and “win”:

    “Earlier this morning, Americans learned the truth about President Obama’s plan to end the government shutdown – there is none. According to his senior staff, the President simply intends to wait it out and ‘win’.

    “That a ‘senior administration official’ from the White House would imply that the government shutdown is just a game is nothing short of shameful and irresponsible.

    “Both Democrats and Republicans agree that a government shutdown is harmful to the lives of ordinary Americans. This is why House Republicans continue to offer solutions to end the shutdown and begin providing funding for critical non-controversial agencies. Sadly, Senate Democrats continue to reject them. Even worse, President Obama continues to issue veto threats on bills that would immediately fund veterans’ benefits, life-saving cancer research and national guard and reserve members.

    “Given the statement by his senior staff, now we know why the President is refusing to fund the government. He wants to wait out the shutdown and try to place the blame on Republicans. This is not leadership.

    “If President Obama is serious about leading our country out of this mess he could take cue from the 57 House Democrats – including two from Arizona – who have voted with Republicans to fund certain government agencies since the shutdown began. These Democrats are willing to negotiate with Republicans so we can move forward and re-open the entire government.

    “It’s now day 4 of the government shutdown and the difference is becoming increasingly clear: Republicans continue to talk about opening up the government; Democrats continue to talk about how to keep it closed.”

  28. atridim says:

    UPDATE (from October 5, 2013): Day 5 of Shutdown

    The Republican-controlled House voted 407-0 to pass the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act on Saturday morning, the fifth day of the government shutdown, the first government shutdown in 17 years. It gives back pay to the more than 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed since Oct. 1. The White House has endorsed the bill.

    The Pentagon is ordering most of its approximately 400,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work. The Pentagon did not immediately say on Saturday exactly how many workers will return to work. The Defense Department said “most” were being brought back.

    • atridim says:

      I am very concerned about this vote to provide back pay, unless those being awarded back pay return to work immediately. The charades of past shutdowns that awarded back pay were nothing more than an expenditure of millions of dollars to provide furloughed workers an extended vacation at tax payer expense.

  29. atridim says:

    UPDATE: The pending storm over raising the U.S. Debt Ceiling is far from over. Will the debt ceiling be raised or will America default?

    I have a strong hunch that on October 17, when the United States Government officially runs out of money to pay its bills…it will begin default for the first time in its history.

    Will this be a bad thing for America? I believe it will be a good thing. Perhaps it will present a chance for avoidance of the pending…real ‘Fiscal Cliff’. The very best outcome would be for America to begin default… and begin to seriously deal with its massive addiction for debt spending far beyond its means. It will not be an easy road, but it will be a lot easier than the road to destruction that America is presently on…one which will reduce America to a third world country by 2050. I see the stalemate in DC as hope…as a wakeup call for all of America. I hope the two sides do not give in to political pressure… so that hope for a future for America remains.

  30. atridim says:

    UPDATE from October 8, 2013: Day 8 of Shutdown

    7:30 am: House Speaker John Boehner said today the way to resolve differences over raising the nation’s debt limit is “to sit down and have a conversation to resolve our differences.” He said there’s never been a president who hasn’t negotiated on the debt limit. “I want to have a conversation,” Boehner told reporters in Washington. “It’s time to … resolve our differences.”

    9:06 am: Obama reiterated to House Speaker John Boehner in a phone call that he was willing to negotiate with Republicans “over policies that Republicans think would strengthen the country,” but only after the government shutdown and debt ceiling issues are resolved, the White House said.

    11:32 am: Obama said Congress should vote to raise the debt ceiling when it votes to reopen the government. Failing to raise the debt ceiling “would be dramatically worse” than a government shutdown, he said. The president warned that if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, “every American could see their 401ks and home values fall,” and the country would see a “very significant risk” of a deep recession.

    12:36 pm: President Barack Obama opened the door to a short-term debt ceiling increase in order to avoid going over the fiscal cliff and allow negotiations between the White House and Congress on a long-term deal. At a White House news conference that lasted over an hour, Obama repeated his position that he will negotiate with Republicans but only after the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised.

    2:08 pm: House Speaker John Boehner rejected President Obama’s stance that he’ll negotiate with Republicans only if the shutdown ends and the debt ceiling is raised. A short time earlier, Obama told reporters at the White House that he’ll negotiate other issues if there is even a short-term deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt limit. Boehner called the president’s position “unsustainable,” adding: “The long and short of it is: There is going to be a negotiation here.”

  31. atridim says:

    UPDATE from October 10, 2013: Day 10 of Shutdown

    8:37 am: GOP leaders are offering a plan to extend the nation’s debt limit until Nov. 22 to forestall the threat of default. The plan would provide more time for negotiations with the White House over fiscal priorities. The Treasury Department has warned that the nation will be unable to pay its debts after Oct. 17. The GOP plan would not reopen the government, which has been in partial shutdown since Oct. 1. It is unclear whether the White House would accept the short-term debt limit extension without a measure to reopen the government.

    10:14 am: The White House says Boehner’s proposal for a short-term deal to increase the nation’s borrowing limit is an “encouraging sign.”

    3:51 pm: President Barack Obama and House Republicans had a “good meeting” Thursday, but ended it without an agreement, the White House said.
    “After a discussion about potential paths forward, no specific determination was made,” the White House said in a statement. “The President looks forward to making continued progress with members on both sides of the aisle.” Talks between the White House and the House GOP are slated to continue into the evening, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

    3:55 pm: House Republicans said President Obama asked them to revise their proposal for a six-week increase in the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. The plan is intended to avoid a first-ever U.S. default on debts. The White House had indicated earlier Thursday that Obama might be able to accept a short-term debt-limit extension. But House Republicans emerged from a meeting with the president indicating that more negotiations were still necessary.

    4:39 pm: President Barack Obama and House Republicans clashed in a meeting Thursday afternoon over how soon the government can be reopened, even as the GOP offered to lift the debt limit for six weeks, according to sources familiar with the session. House Republicans told Obama at the White House that they could reopen the federal government by early next week if the president and Senate Democrats agree to their debt-ceiling proposal. A GOP aide said they would seek some additional concessions if they advance a government funding bill next week. Obama repeatedly pressed House Republicans to open the government, asking them “what’s it going to take to” end the shutdown, those sources said. The meeting was described by both sides as cordial but inconclusive.

  32. atridim says:

    UPDATE: October 11, 2013: Day 11 of Shutdown

    Senate Republicans met with President Barack Obama for nearly two hours at the White House on Friday and were encouraged about the prospects for a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, but it remains unclear what such an agreement would entail.

    “We’re on our way now to dealing with this issue,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) after the White House meeting. “The actual legislative piece, I don’t think anybody actually knows that at present.”

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is leading an effort to develop a framework that would reopen the government for six months or a year, repeal or delay the medical device tax and raise the debt ceiling, said there was openness to such a plan.

    “There is a willingness on the part of the administration to engage and turn negotiations into a long-term plan,” Collins said.

  33. atridim says:

    UPDATE: October 12, 2013: Day 12 of Shutdown

    Democratic leaders in the Senate are rejecting an offer by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to end the budget impasse, arguing it asks for too much in return for too little, aides and senators say. The Collins plan, which was drafted with input from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) and other senators, called for a six-month extension of government funding and a debt limit increase through January. But it asked for a delay in Obamacare’s medical device tax for two years and a requirement for income verification for Obamacare subsidies.
    While it would give federal agencies more flexibility to work within the constraints of the automatic sequestration cuts, Democrats objected to the level of funding that Collins was seeking, which would lock-in the levels under the sequester at $967 billion next year, far too low for many Democrats.

    The Senate on Saturday defeated a procedural move by majority Democrats to bring up a “clean” debt limit bill. The measure would have extended the debt limit through 2014 without any spending cuts or changes to Obamacare. The vote was 53-45. It needed 60 votes to pass.

    Most members of the House and Senate are now planning to head home while leadership from both parties stays in Washington to continue debt ceiling and shutdown negotiations.

  34. atridim says:

    UPDATE: October 14, 2013: Day 14 of Shutdown

    9 AM in DC:
    A meeting has been arranged. Attendees: Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

    The meeting comes as Reid has privately offered McConnell a deal that would reopen the government until mid-to-late December while extending the U.S. debt ceiling until next year, according to several sources familiar with the talks.

    The proposal would set up a framework for larger budget negotiations with the House over the automatic sequestration spending cuts and and other major deficit issues. Moreover, Senate Democrats are open to delaying Obamacare’s medical device tax and a requirement that those receiving Obamacare subsidies be subject to income verification – but they would have to get something from Republicans in return, sources said.

    12 Noon in DC:
    The White House said it is postponing a meeting with congressional leaders slated for 3 p.m. as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell close in on a budget deal…allowing Senate leaders time to continue negotiating a compromise to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a U.S. default as soon as Thursday.

    House Speaker John Boehner and other top House GOP leaders will meet later to discuss their options and to consider preparing their own bill to raise the debt ceiling.

  35. atridim says:

    UPDATE: October 15, 2013: Day 15 of Shutdown

    Early morning DC:
    House Republicans will move their own debt ceiling and government funding bill, GOP leaders announced in a closed meeting Tuesday.
    The bill will delay Obamacare’s medical device tax for two years, install income verification for Obamacare subsidies and have language to cancel health insurance subsidies for members of Congress and the presidential Cabinet. Government funding will run until January 15 and the debt ceiling will be lifted until February 7.
    In addition, the House proposal would forbid the Treasury from taking what it calls extraordinary measures to prevent the government from defaulting as cash runs low, in effect requiring hard deadlines to extend the federal debt ceiling.

    Late morning in DC:
    President Barack Obama plans to meet with House Democratic leaders on Tuesday afternoon, as the White House attacked the House Republicans’ latest proposal as demanding a “ransom” in “a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans.”
    Speaker John Boehner said there are “no decisions on what exactly we will do” to raise the debt ceiling, reopen government and tweak portions of Obamacare.
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said his chamber will not approve the budget bill being put together by House Republican leaders and blasted the proposal as “nothing more than a blatant attack on bipartisanship.” “We felt blindsided by the news from the House,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Let’s be clear: The House legislation will not pass the Senate.”

    Early afternoon in DC:
    House Republican leaders are moving forward with a bill to lift the debt ceiling, reopen government and enact a host of other policies.
    The bill is expected to be marked up in the House Rules Committee late Tuesday afternoon, and will make its way to the floor Tuesday evening.
    The version of the provision included in a bill the House is slated to consider Tuesday night would eliminate employer contributions for lawmakers’ and Hill staffers’ health insurance purchases, and require the president, vice president and political appointees to enter into Obamacare exchanges without a tax subsidy.

    Late afternoon in DC:
    President Barack Obama told House Democratic leaders Tuesday that he would veto debt-ceiling legislation if it includes a provision pushed by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and House GOP leaders that would cut health subsidies for congressional and senior executive branch officials, according to sources familiar with the discussion at a private White House meeting.
    House Republican leadership delayed a Rules Committee hearing that would have allowed them to bring their bill to the floor to open government and lift the debt ceiling.

  36. atridim says:

    UPDATE: Fitch Ratings places the United States on “rating watch negative”…a sign that DC will not reach an agreement by October 17 and U.S. Default will begin.

    Fitch Ratings has put United States debt on “rating watch negative” because of the government’s inability to raise the debt ceiling in a “timely manner” before the Oct. 17 deadline set by the Treasury Department. The announcement is not a downgrade but puts the U.S. on notice of a possible downgrade.

    “Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” Fitch said.

    Fitch said prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling “risks undermining confidence in the role of the U.S. dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency, by casting doubt over the full faith and credit of the U.S.”

  37. atridim says:

    UPDATE from October 16, 2013: Day 16 of Shutdown: U.S. Congress reaches agreement

    Noon in DC:
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced an agreement to reopen the government through Jan. 15 and extend the debt ceiling to Feb. 7. It also requires establishment of a bicameral budget conference committee by Dec. 13 to come up with a long-term budget deal.

    Late afternoon in DC:
    The GOP House leadership will not block a Senate agreement aimed at ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner says in a statement.
    The House plans to move on the Senate’s bill first. The House will vote first on an emerging Senate proposal to open the government and lift the debt ceiling, a move that would expedite bipartisan legislation developed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
    If the House passes the bill first and sends it to the upper chamber, it would eliminate some procedural hurdles in the Senate and require just one procedural roll call with a 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill toward final passage in the Senate.

    Early evening in DC:
    The bipartisan bill passed in the Senate by a 81-18 vote and now heads to the House, where Speaker John Boehner has said it will not be blocked. Once the legislation clears both chambers, it will go to President Obama for his signature. A vote on the bill is expected later tonight in the House. The GOP House leadership said earlier Wednesday that it would not block the deal.

    Late evening in DC:
    The legislation, passed in the House on a 285-144 vote. It now heads to President Obama, who has pledged he will “sign it immediately.”
    The House has approved legislation already passed by the Senate to reopen the government and raise the federal debt limit.

  38. atridim says:

    UPDATE from October 17, 2013: President signs legislation, Shutdown ends

    Just after Midnight in DC:
    President Obama signed a bipartisan bill passed by Congress that extends the nation’s debt limit, avoiding the risk of default, and sends hundreds of thousands of federal employees back to work. Its called the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014. The continuing resolution is effective retroactively to October 1, providing pay to workers furloughed by the shutdown (meaning they will receive an extra 2+ week paid vacation at the expense of U.S. tax payers). It funds the government through January 15, 2014, when a shutdown will loom again. The debt limit has been extended, allowing the Treasury to borrow through February 7, 2014, when a default will loom again.

    Standard and Poor said the shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion.
    It was the first government shutdown in 17 years. The last government shutdown began in December 1995 and lasted for three weeks into early 1996, a few days longer than this one.

  39. atridim says:

    It is apparent that Obama’s Washington Circus, including the U.S. Senate and House, needs to understand the reality, sobriety and brevity of this massive fiscal blunder before January 15, 2014 or America will once again be entertained by its next circus act of once again kicking America’s Debt Can down the road…a road that is leading to America’s real ‘Fiscal Cliff’ just a few miles ahead.
    Captain Rick

  40. Victor Petersen says:

    Thanks for your work on this issue. I am very worried for my country. I hope we all realize that even this great country can’t avoid financial realities and that a comparison to Greece is not hyperbole.

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