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OP-ED: Settle shutdown now
October 10, 2013, 05:00 AM Arizona Republic

Washington’s game of political chicken has a clear loser: the American people.

So settle this.

The nation needs a clean continuing resolution to end the partial shutdown.

The nation also needs a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling. The sooner the better.

President Barack Obama says he’s willing to negotiate with “reasonable” congressional Republicans “over policies that Republicans think would strengthen the country” — including the Affordable Care Act — as soon as the shutdown is over and the debt ceiling is raised.

Lawmakers need to stop obstructing and help get the government running again. Then they can make their case against the Affordable Care Act.

Holding your breath until America turns blue is not an acceptable way to win an argument.

America is polarized. Debate and compromise are essential to reach consensus.

People have already suffered from the partial shutdown. Ask a hotel owner near the Grand Canyon. The stakes for default are much higher, and it isn’t just the Obama administration saying that.

James E. Staley, managing partner of the hedge fund Blue Mountain Capital, says failing to raise the debt limit would be “calamitous.” Worse than the financial meltdown in 2008.

The International Monetary Fund’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard said the recovery could turn into recession if we miss the Oct. 17 deadline.

A big dose of uncertainty between now and then won’t help bring back the economic good times, either.

Meanwhile, America is wearing a clown nose on the world stage.

President Obama missed the summit of Pacific Rim leaders in Indonesia this week because of the turmoil.

Congress needs to get past this latest exercise in governing by crisis.

Vote to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling. Without conditions.

After that, everything is negotiable. It should be negotiable.

Republicans who believe their ideas represent the will of the people should be willing to debate those ideas on their merits without the leverage of a looming catastrophe.



Tags: obama, needs, shutdown, raise, ceiling, people,

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