Gridlock brings another threat of government shutdown

U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA): One of the House Republicans owned by Shell Oil. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Capitol Hill gridlock once again threatens the day-to-day operations of government as Republicans and Democrats tangle over unemployment benefits, Social Security taxes and the use of earmarks to benefit campaign contributors.

Both sides, while playing politics with the economic well-being of Americans, accuse the other of doing exactly that in a bitter struggle over a payroll tax cut for Americans, extension of aid to the long-term unemployed and a giant spending bill needed to keep the government in business past Friday.

“It’s do or die time,” a frustrated House aide told Capitol Hill Blue Tuesday.  “Right now, we’re dying.”

The Republican-led House is thumbing its nose at President Barack Obama and sending the Senate a spending bill that includes the wanted tax cut on Social Security taxes that Democrats want but also includes a measure to force Obama’s hand on a controversial oil pipeline.  Obama has threatened to veto any bill that includes the pipeline measure or other items that are earmarks sought by Republicans to aid their contributors.

Shell Oil stands to benefit from expedited action on the pipeline and company executives have contributed heavily to GOP leaders.

But the bill faces certain death in the Democratic Senate if the pipeline measure remains part of the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will hold a vote quickly so negotiations can begin on differences and expressed hope, not optimism, that a deal could be reached.

The tax cuts and extension of unemployment benefits expire on Dec. 31.

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One Response to "Gridlock brings another threat of government shutdown"

  1. Sandune  December 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    As I was trimming my Christmas Tree, I was listening to a young man discussing what America needs to do to get our country back on track. Far too many of our products that are found in our defense weapons, airplanes and even cars are manufactured in China. The discussion also mentioned the fact that if Gingrich or even Romney get into the white house we will be at war with one of the Islamic nations and we will need to rely on our Chinese made products. Even if Obama is re-elected our Congress will be opposed to any actions until we finally have to strike back. But what with?

    The best thing we can and must do is get our manufacturing corporations making products used by Americans especially if we end up in another war. I have stressed for years to buy American products but now I realize that our government issued contracts to China for our defense products and it makes no sense. Do these defense contracts come from our Republican Congress? Do those name-calling two-faced bigots in the government realize what the hell they are doing which is working against our manufacturing base in America?

    We can argue back and forth about the smaller issues but what about the big problems. The GOP would have no organized manufacturing of American products as they have fought against the government doing anything. They would fight like wild cats against the Republican President should there be one to bring back our government made products.

    This election has managed to destroy both parties leaving nothing to rebuild what has been destroyed by basically the Bush Administration. I can see nothing but a complete and deliberate removal of all members of the House and Senate but the voters would never go along with it. We are stuck with a government being sucked into the muck and mire of corruption. I got Abramoff’s book today and he has been involved in the GOP from the moment he was a shining star in D.C. The GOP loved him as he handed out money to all of them. There are a whole series of new books coming off the press and they expose the GOP as the scum of the world. The king of the scum is and was Newt Gingrich and every Republican knows it. They just don’t care.

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