The Norman Transcript

Columns

October 6, 2013

Shutdown is not the solution

NORMAN — As I explained in numerous town hall meetings back in August, government shutdown is harmful to hard-working Americans, and using it as a strategy to repeal Obamacare is sure to fail, especially when its namesake is in the White House.

To be clear, I oppose Obamacare. I voted against it and, since passage, I have voted 41 times to either repeal it fully or partially. Seven of these bills have actually become law, modifying the Affordable Care Act and saving taxpayers $62 billion.

I’ve also consistently spoken out against it. But in my opinion, government shutdown is a bad idea and is ill-advised.

Shutdown is a disruption and an unwelcome reality that we never wanted to face because it produces grave consequences, including the unfair furlough of more than 800,000 federal workers and a lapse in government services. It’s a situation that I have warned against for weeks and weeks.

However, even though the House has passed numerous measures that would fund the government, the Senate and the White House refuse to negotiate a solution. They even rejected the House suggestion that we form a conference committee, made up of members from both chambers, to find a common-sense compromise.

This disagreement is no longer primarily about Obamacare; it’s about a raw power grab by President Obama, whose idea of compromise is “my way or the highway.” Throughout this entire process, he has proven to be aloof and unwilling to engage with lawmakers in a productive way.

As president of the United States, he is effectively the CEO of our country. I don’t know of any CEO of a large American corporation who would refuse to engage in negotiations to prevent company closure, yet this is exactly what the president has done.

Instead of displaying leadership and service, he simply travels the country, essentially making campaign-style speeches. While he pointedly refuses to negotiate with Republicans in the United States House of Representatives, he proudly states his willingness to negotiate with Russia, Syria and Iran. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014