SALEM — With the federal government shut down, the question lingers: Who is to blame?
The shutdown took effect yesterday, after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure that funds the government only if the Affordable Care Act is delayed for a year. The Senate, controlled by Democrats, has rejected the effort to tie the funding resolution to the health care law.
President Barack Obama is supporting the Senate position.
The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare,” took effect yesterday as scheduled.
As to who gets the blame for the resulting government shutdown, a random survey yesterday found citizens whose displeasure is wide enough to encompass both political parties. Some, however, see specific people at fault.
“All parties are to blame,” said Tyson Lynch of Salem. “But probably more the Republicans. Maybe (House Speaker John) Boehner. Mainly (Texas Sen.) Ted Cruz.”
Cruz famously gave a 21-hour speech criticizing the health care law.
“I think they’re hurting millions of people trying to prevent something that’s going to be implemented anyway,” Lynch said of the Republicans. “They’re like a 5-year-old.
“I don’t know if they understand that the economy is just beginning to improve, and this is going to set us back somewhat. ... But I guess we’re stuck with it.” He blasted members of Congress for vacationing in August when they might have been finding some solution.
By contrast, Nick Barrasso of Danvers blames President Obama and his devotion to the health care law.
“He’s the president. He’s in charge. He’s the boss, Barrasso said. “... Health insurance is a privilege. You get the right job, they give you health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance, it’s on you.”
Even so, he predicts that Republicans are likely to get the brunt of the blame. And he suggests why: “I’m smart enough to know it’s the liberal media.” In fact, he joked, by the time the media is done, they’ll have people believing “it’s Bush’s fault. Put that down. It’s Bush’s fault.”