I salute letter writer William Akers' brilliant description of congressional Republicans ("Gangster tactics from the House GOP," Oct 1).

Republicans have allowed their far-right, extremist wing — the tea party — to hijack the GOP and to intentionally hurt millions of American workers and their families. We must hold Republicans accountable at the polls for their behavior in 2014, 2016 and thereafter.

America will soon default on its debt due to the inactivity of Congress, possibly plunging the country and the world into yet another recession or even a depression.

Let us demand that Republicans end the government shutdown. Let us demand that Republicans allow the return to work of the many dedicated, professional, hard-working, highly educated federal workers who serve America every day.

That includes those fighting terrible diseases, helping children with cancer, ensuring aviation safety, helping retirees and the disabled, operating our national parks and so many other vital activities.

Republicans must stop acting like gangsters.

Richard Shannahan, Lutherville