October 13, 2013 by Devin
For those just tuning in to the shutdown, Republicans did not like Obamacare so much so that even though it was a passed law, they shut down the government as a dramatic move to make Democrats go back on the law.
And it looks like this shutdown will last for a while based on this troubling development. The following video is from what happened in Congress when Representative Chris Van Hollen questioned Representative Jason Chaffetz about whether or not a vote can be taken about re-opening the government.
To add some context to this, as of last Wednesday, there were enough votes in Congress to re-open the government (217 votes were needed, and there were 200 Democrat votes and 19 Republicans showing support for reopening). However, in order for that to actually happen, the vote had to be called.
I want to reiterate this point. The majority of Congress wants to reopen the government, and they have enough votes to do it. But what was keeping them from actually doing it was a formality: somebody had to say, “Let’s vote on this”.
Now I am not sure the exact timeline on this, but it seemed at one point there had been a clause saying that in cases like this, any member could call for a vote. I believe normally the agenda for vote setting is set by the majority leader, but there had been an addendum for emergency situations like this.
But the Republican controlled House changed that rule so that only the majority leader (Representative John Boehner) can call for a vote. And he has not called for a vote because he wants the shutdown to keep going. So, essentially, this shutdown is going to happen for as long as Rep. Boehner wants it to no matter what Congress thinks.
So in conclusion, I want everyone who thinks that both sides are to blame for this shutdown to keep in mind that this shutdown could be over any time now. It is not the Democrats stopping it. It is one man with the support of his party halting a democratic vote.