Today the government should be getting back to work from the long weekend to mark Columbus Day, but since the government is still shutdown, many Federal workers remained home. However, congressional leaders are reportedly working to draft legislation that will satisfy both their Members and reopen the government and raise the debt limit. Over the weekend, Senate leaders were negotiating, but these talks have reportedly stalled as the House tries to craft a bill. However, it is still unclear whether the Democratic Senate will accept legislation passed by the Republican House.
Hopefully Congress and the President can come to some kind of agreement soon, but if not, things might get ugly. Many analysts say that if the government does not raise the debt ceiling and the country defaults on its interest payments, there could be severe economic repercussions, including a new recession.
If the economy does take another nosedive, then voters are sure to hold the country’s elected officials responsible. Many have wondered whether they will assign Democrats and Republicans praise or blame differently. But what about members of the Tea Party movement serving in Congress? Will they be helped or harmed by this?
If the voters do end up taking Members to task for the shutdown and issues over the debt ceiling, many won’t be sorry to see them go. This might even include veteran congressional analyst Charlie Cook, who took aim at today’s Members. He argues that the ability of Congress to work has steadily declined over the past three decades. Although he concedes that there are some who still merit the style “The Honorable”, they are fewer in number. “There is nothing new about divided government; it has been the rule more than the exception for much of modern history. But how it is handled has changed—we aren’t seeing adult behavior from any of the three corners of this House-Senate-White House triumvirate,” he writes. Ouch.