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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Apples and oranges

Beyond harming the country's economy as well as the nation's poorest – specifically hungry children – this week's shutdown of the federal government is a shameful demonstration of partisan politics interfering with our elected officials carrying out their duties.

Apples = The job of Congress to deal with the nation's finances in terms of debt ceilings, budgets, sequesters, creditors and protecting the nation's credit rating.

Oranges = Ideological partisan differences about a piece of legislation – that became law regardless of the shutdown.

Keep in mind that this particular piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), has been appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court where it has been upheld. Keep in mind that Republicans in the House have voted 42 separate times to de-fund or overturn this particular piece of legislation which the Supreme Court has upheld.

It is the law of the land. The way to change it is not by playing chicken with the debt ceiling and the economy – at the expense of hungry children. The way to change it is through the regular legislative process where bills are proposed, discussed, amended and adopted.

It is nothing less than dereliction of duty for House Republicans to shirk their job to the nation and its citizens to make an ideological point that is moot anyway.

It's disgraceful and tyrannical that these ideologues have shut down so many important programs that stand between the nation's poorest citizens and going hungry.


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