NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
On Oct. 16, after a 16-day federal government shutdown, these Oklahoma Congressmen — all Republicans — voted against ending that shutdown and saving the country from default: Jim Bridenstine, Tulsa, James Lankford, Oklahoma City, Frank Lucas, Cheyenne, and Markwayne Mullin, Muskogee.
They voted “no” on House Resolution 2775 to fund the government through Jan. 15 and extend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. The debt ceiling is the limit for how much the federal government can borrow to pay bills it already owes and has already agreed to pay.
Fortunately, more reasonable minds prevailed, like that of Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole, R-Moore, so House Resolution 2775 passed the House 285 to 144. That measure had already passed the Senate. So the shutdown was over, at least temporarily.
The shutdown had begun on Oct. 1 (the start of Fiscal Year 2014) because House Republicans (in the majority) refused to pass the 2014 budget unless defunding Obamacare was included in the budget.
However, any budget that defunded Obamacare was dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, presided over by Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada. Without money in the budget to fund the government, a shutdown was inevitable.
That shutdown cost $24 billion. Let’s see now that $24 billion divided by 144 (the number of Republicans who voted to keep the government shut down).
That’s more than $166 million each. So pay up, Bridenstine, Lankford, Lucas and Mullin. Your political stunts are costly.