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Brock: Shutdown isn't working, time to move on

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Brock: Shutdown isn't working, time to move on
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Humorist Will Rogers once said, "Don't let yesterday use up too much of today," which certainly are commonsense words the U.S. House of Representatives should consider.


Obamacare may be a good or a horrible law depending on how you look at it, but it is a law that was passed by Congress. Like it or not, the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional. There may even be more folks who don't like it than do, but it shouldn't be holding the federal budget hostage.

There are not enough votes to repeal the law, so move on. If it is so horrible, it can be repealed or changed by a congressional majority and president later. This latest shutdown over Obamacare is not popular.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday shows voters overwhelmingly oppose Congress shutting down the federal government as a way to stop the 2010 Affordable Care Act from being implemented, matching other public polling that shows that Democrats enter the shutdown with the upper hand.

Overall, the poll shows voters are split on the health care law. Forty-five percent support it while 47 percent oppose it. Other polls, however, have shown stronger opposition to the law.

But despite their overall ambivalence toward the law, voters oppose efforts to defund it. Just 34 percent think Congress should cut off funding, and support is even lower when those defunding efforts are tied to a government shutdown (22 percent) or raising the debt limit (27 percent). A wide majority, 72 percent, oppose shutting down the government to cut off funding the health care law.

Despite the poll, Republican House members still seem hellbent on tying any kind of agreement to end the government shutdown to the repeal of Obamacare.

Ironically, they share part of the blame for Obamacare. If they would have negotiated in 2010 and offered viable solutions to the problems in health care, there might have been reform that more people would like.

Instead, they didn't offer any other options and spent their time preaching doom and gloom and whined while it passed. They underestimated the popularity of the president and his health care reform. They assumed he would serve only one term and they would retake the Senate and be able to repeal the legislation in 2012.

We all know how that turned out. Do they think this government shutdown will improve their chances in 2016?

This latest snafu in Washington brings to mind another Will Rogers quote. I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him "father."

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Email him at

Harvey Brock
(701) 456-1201