I don't watch Breaking Bad (even though I am a big Bob Odenkirk fan), but you Breaking Bad fans might appreciate Senator Ed Markey's (D. MA) speech last night regarding teh Tea Party GOP shutdown:
Well said. Markey has long been against shutting down the government and even gave a list of services that would be affected by the shutdown:"I think Tea Party Republicans saw Breaking Bad’s dramatic depiction of reckless behavior last night and thought they could put on a better finale. They could create more drama. They could cook up even more toxic ideas. They could break this government in every bad way possible," Markey said in the Senate Monday. “These Tea Party antics are the stuff of fairy tales. The way the GOP is writing this story, at the stroke of midnight, as we turn the calendar to October, our government, and potentially our economic recovery, turns into a pumpkin. But it’s the Tea Party GOP who are in Fantasyland, thinking we will actually allow them to cut off Obamacare, shut down the government, and melt down our economy."
The Senate on Monday struck down a Tea Party bill to avert the government shutdown by delaying the implementation of the president's health care overhaul, otherwise known as Obamacare. Some provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect Tuesday regardless of whether Congress strikes a last-minute deal or not.
In his speech, Markey chastised the Tea Party for the congressional gridlock that led to the self-imposed sequester when lawmakers failed to pass a budget earlier this year. He also said that the sequester and now the looming shutdown are fabricated crises, with a potential sequel around the corner.
"This bill is a preview of coming attractions: Two weeks from now, we’ll be careening to the next crisis, this time over whether America will pay its debts. If we do not raise the debt ceiling, we won’t be able to pay our bills starting October 17th," he said. "What’s the harm of defaulting on our debts? Our nation’s stock and bond markets could go into a free fall. That will damage the full faith and credit of our country, the bedrock of the entire American economy." - The Republican, 9/30/13
Markey's also been writing about how the government's budget priorities should go towards combating climate change:Here is the list, as prepared by Markey’s office in a press release, showing the programs that would be impacted:
-- Social Security Checks: The 185,788 recipients of Social Security in Massachusetts could be denied services (such as staff answering phones) because of the shutdown. And applications for new benefits would be delayed.
-- Armed Forces: A shutdown could delay military pay and hurt military families. In Massachusetts, there are more than 3,000 active duty personnel, more than 15,000 Reserve and National Guard members and almost 7,000 civilians who would be affected by a shutdown. The Department of Defense estimates that during a shutdown nearly half of the civilian workforce would be sent home without pay, while the rest would continue to work for delayed pay. Service members would also stay on duty without pay.
-- Head Start: A government shutdown could force Head Start Centers around the country to close. During 2012, 29 Head Start programs throughout Massachusetts served approximately 16,500 children and families. Massachusetts Head Start programs were already reeling from funding reductions due to sequestration, with more than 2,000 kids estimated to have been removed from the program.
-- Small Business Loans: During the past 11 months, Massachusetts banks made more than 2,000 SBA loans worth more than $602 million to small businesses. A shutdown would put a stop to this critical source of small business credit until the government resumes operation.
-- Veterans benefits: The processing of new educational, pay, and pension benefits for the 394,000 Massachusetts veterans could be delayed. During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans nationwide saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans.
-- College: Colleges could be unable to draw down and disburse to students any campus-based program awards such as work-study or the Federal Perkins Loan Program if the government shuts down on Tuesday. Last school year, 42,000 students in Massachusetts utilized work-study while Perkins impacted over 24,000 students in the Commonwealth.
-- National Parks and Historic Sites: In a shutdown, the more than 400 National Park Service sites nationwide could close. This includes 18 sites in Massachusetts, including Faneuil Hall, John F. Kennedy’s birthplace, the Adams National Historical Park, Salt Pond Visitor Center on Cape Cod, and Minute Man National Historical Park.
-- Federal Contractors: After the Fiscal Year 1996 shutdown, a survey showed that over 20 percent federal contractors were affected and many employees of federal contractors reportedly were furloughed without pay. In Fiscal Year 2011, 5,430 Massachusetts businesses received approximately $16.7 billion in federal contracts. A shutdown similar to the one in 1996 could affect more than 1,000 Massachusetts businesses and their employees, delaying contract awards and furloughing employees. - Boston Globe, 9/26/13
Thank you Senator Markey for continuing to not only fight to keep the government functioning but to also battle climate change. Lets make sure the GOP suffers at the polls next year and keep Markey's campaign fueled:As Congress focused on the federal budget and avoiding a possible government shutdown on Friday, the world's leading climate scientists warned of another budget crisis. In its fifth comprehensive report on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that we have almost maxed out our carbon budget by burning fossil fuels and dumping carbon pollution into the ocean and atmosphere.
What is a carbon budget? There is a limit to the amount of fossil fuel we can burn before enough carbon pollution pushes our climate past a dangerous tipping point.
Like any budget, the carbon budget is finite. At our current pace, we have about 15 years left before we'd have to stop burning fossil fuels altogether to avoid dangerous consequences. The IPCC report is an urgent warning to the world that time is running out to save the planet from perilous climate change. Now it is time for Congress to listen and re-engage on this critical issue.
The scientists have spoken clearly. Decades of their observations and research confirm the basic chemistry and physics of dumping carbon pollution into our atmosphere and ocean. Our actions are changing the planet and harming people.
We're seeing the impacts of climate change all over our planet. The last three decades have been the hottest since the Industrial Revolution, and likely the warmest in the last 1,400 years. Arctic sea ice and glaciers are melting, and there will be even greater sea level rise this century than what we've seen over the last 40 years. Extreme rainstorms and wildfires are increasing in the United States. The oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, driving fisheries north and threatening environmentally and economically critical species, such as oysters and lobster.
Climate change deniers in Congress have run out of excuses to support action. If senators truly followed the science in this report, we'd have more than 95 votes for action to match the more than 95 percent certainty that we are altering our planet for the worse. - Senator Ed Markey (D. MA), Huffington Post, 9/30/13