Is the Crisis Really Over?

tags: government shutdown



Steve Hochstadt is a history professor at Illinois College.

As a national sigh of relief greeted the end of the government shutdown and the narrow averting of a national default, the question lingers: Is the crisis over? Or will we go through the same political brinkmanship in a few months, when the debt ceiling is reached again in February?

The answer lies within the Republican Party.

The compromise that ended the shutdown depended on Democratic votes. Every Democratic senator and representative voted for the bill to avert a default. But most congressional Republicans voted against it. Although a majority of Republican senators voted for it, 28 to 18, House Republicans voted overwhelmingly against it, 144 to 87. Nothing had changed among Republican ranks during the shutdown, except that Speaker John Boehner finally allowed such a bill to come to a vote at all, during which, as had been predicted from the beginning, enough Republicans voted yes for it to pass. Despite the billions in damage to our economy that the shutdown caused and the unanimous warnings from economists across the world that a government default would create much worse damage, Republican politicians did not budge....



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