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The Non-Shutdown, the Super-Shutdown, and the House’s Latest Tactic

A week in, it’s on odd federal government shutdown, that’s for sure. In some respects, it’s less of a shutdown than it seems, and in others, it’s more of a shutdown. The House has a plan. We’ll see what comes of that.

By one account—a Republican Senate Budget Committee source—as much as 87% of the government is actually up and running. That’s when you measure in dollars. It’s not that much of a shutdown.

The non-shutdown is due in part to the fact that some spending, such as entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, operate under permanent spending authority. There is no need for Congress to pass annual appropriations bills to keep these programs running, so they’re not shut down.

Also, on the eve of the shutdown Congress passed and the president signed H.R. 3210, the Pay Our Military Act. That law funds the military during any period without regular authority to spend. There’s another big chunk of the federal government not shut down.

Meanwhile, there’s a super-shutdown going on. Some government workers aren’t staying home. They’re on the job, barricading public parks and national forests, a policy that has raised accusations that the government is trying to maximize Americans’ discomfort.

The Iwo Jima memorial, for example, is a patch of grass ringed by a road. At any given hour on any given day, you wouldn’t find a federal employee anywhere. A government shutdown would mean the grass goes uncut and some maintenance wouldn’t be done. It shouldn’t mean that veterans can’t visit the iconic statue representing World War II victory in the Pacific. That’s apparently why the Syracuse Honor Flight pushed the barricades aside and visited the memorial as they pleased.

States and localities are offering to pick up the slack at national parks, and meeting with mixed results.

Meanwhile, the standoff between the House and the Senate and president continues. The latest tactic the House is adopting takes a page from the Pay Our Military Act: it’s introducing and passing bills that fund parts of the government that seem to matter most.

The politics are interesting. Passing a lot of bills to fund the more popular government programs helps the House make the case that they are trying to keep the government open and that it is the Democrats and President Obama holding the government “hostage” to get what they want in the Obamacare debate. That’s a hard case to make, though, and House Republicans are in the weaker position.

As always, it’s up to you.

Here’s a list of those bills and their spending per U.S. family, where available. You can make your thoughts known by voting and commenting on the bills and by editing the wiki articles about them:

H.R. 3230, The Pay Our Guard and Reserve Actspends $45 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 70, The National Park Service Operations, Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $22.50 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 71, The District of Columbia Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

H. J. Res. 72, The Veterans Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $21 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 73, The National Institutes of Health Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $72 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 74, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

H. J. Res. 75, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $52 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 76, The National Nuclear Security Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $65 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 77, The Food and Drug Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $10 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 78, The National Intelligence Program Operations Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

H. J. Res. 79, The Border Security and Enforcement Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $118 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 80, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, and Indian Health Service Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $48 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 81, Making continuing appropriations for the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of Environmental Management of the Department of Energy for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes

H. J. Res. 82, The National Weather Service Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $5.50 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 83, The Impact Aid Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $10 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 84, The Head Start Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $40 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 85, The Federal Emergency Management Agency Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014spends $106 per U.S. family

H. J. Res. 86, The Consumer Product Safety Commission Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

H. J. Res. 87, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

H. J. Res. 88, Making continuing appropriations for operations of the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy for fiscal year 2014

Visitor Comments for The Non-Shutdown, the Super-Shutdown, and the House’s Latest Tactic RSS 2.0

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – October 7, 2013 – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] The Non-Shutdown, the Super-Shutdown, and the House’s Latest Tactic [...]

William Midgley

My thoughts on the shut down seems to me mostly on the god forsaken OBAMA CARE I feel this should have been put to the popular vote of the legal citizens of the U.S. not our government representatives that bargained with the opposition to get benefits for their state (my state included in that)this could have solved the problem on OBAMA CARE I hate that name but it is what it is

Greg Anderson

Obama care is the Law already, and it is not UnConstitutional as per the Supreme Court.

ObamaCare is aka Romney Care and that state is loving it. Hello?

Shutdown Over! – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] The Non-Shutdown, the Super-Shutdown, and the House’s Latest Tactic [...]

Shutdown Over! | US Senators

[...] Late Wednesday this past week, the House and Senate passed a bill to reopen the parts of the government that were closed in the shutdown. [...]

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