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Democrats are to blame for the government shutdown

National GovernmentAffordable Care Act (Obamacare)U.S. Government Shutdown (2013)U.S. SenateU.S. Debt Ceiling

It's no surprise that the liberal media and The Sun blame the government shutdown — or slim down — on Republicans, the tea party and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ("Grow up, Congress," Oct. 14).

But The Sun comes up short when it comes to facts about the shutdown. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted the money required to keep all government activities going with the exception of Obamacare.

This is not a matter of opinion, it is in the Congressional Record. As for the House's right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. Just check the Constitution: All spending bills must originate in the House, which means that lawmakers there have the right to decide whether or not they want to fund a particular government activity.

Whatever one's opinion of Obamacare, it is a fact that House members have the right to make such spending decisions.

The government workers who have been furloughed are not idle because the House did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies unless they were in an agency that would administer Obamacare.

We do know who had the option to keep the government running but chose not to. The money voted by the House covered everything that the government does except for Obamacare. The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama refused to accept the money required to run the government because it left out the money they wanted to run Obamacare. That is their right. But that is also their responsibility. One cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want, so it is a fraud to blame them when there is a refusal to use the money that was offered, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.

Withholding of money is legal (and not unprecedented) and is also a matter of fact. Another bit of misinformation from the president and the Democrats is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default.

Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury Department during the shutdown, and it exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt. Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that means that government is just not allowed to run up new debt. It doesn't mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.

It's become painfully obvious that the government shutdown's sole purpose was to protect a sacred cow via the subrogation of government workers, the military, veterans, national security and the all important economy, to name just a few hurt by the shutdown.

Michael Vance Ernest Sr., Catonsville

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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National GovernmentAffordable Care Act (Obamacare)U.S. Government Shutdown (2013)U.S. SenateU.S. Debt Ceiling
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