Who is really to blame for shut down?

October 4, 2013

Why are we blaming the Tea Party Republicans for closing the government?

Most news analysts and elected officials blame (or credit) a “small group of House Republicans” who voted to close the government in order to gut the Affordable Care Act.

The House of Representatives has 435 members. There are 232 Republicans, 200 Democrats and three vacancies. The House passed the bill that caused the government shutdown 228-201. Two Republicans voted against the bill, while two Democrats supported it. (Apparently nine members did not vote.)

There are 52 Democrats, 46 Republicans and two Independents in the U.S. Senate. The Senate vote was 54-46. Every Republican Senator voted to close the government.

Doing simple arithmetic shows that 226 (97 percent) of Republican representatives and 46 (100 percent) of Republican senators voted for the government shutdown. Seems like mainstream Republicans voted right along with the Tea Party members.

Joanne Cabry
chair, Progressive Democrats of Sussex County

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