Students react to federal government shut down

Keandra Davis

The government officially shut down Oct.1 after House Republicans and Senate Democrats could not reach an agreement on funding for the Affordable Care Act and other government funds, sending 800,000 workers home until lawmakers can come to a decision.

“The House of Representatives are solely to blame,” Joseph Gomba, graduate assistant in the political science department, said.

Last weekend, the House of Representatives passed a bill to delay the Affordable Care Act for one year, rescinding a tax on medical devices. The bill failed in the Senate.

“The Republicans [in the House of Representatives] knew when they added the amendment to defund the Affordable Care Act, the democrats would say no, and as a result they [Republicans] purposely orchestrated a government shut down,” Gomba said.

Because legislators could not agree, approximately 800,000 “non-essential” federal workers are on unpaid leave until the House and Senate can come to an agreement.  These jobs include NASA, the CIA, and several others.

“When a private company can’t deliver snacks or soda to places like Sheppard Air Force Base then it affects everyone,” Gomba said. “Those benefits go to the city of Wichita Falls which helps build schools and roads.”

It is approximated that for each day the government remains shut down, the U.S. economy will lose $100 million. Congress expects the shutdown to cost the US economy $10 billion if it lasts for one week.

“It is contradictory for Republicans to talk about fiscal responsibility, but then try to crash the American economy when it’s been growing steady,” Gomba said. “We don’t send members of Congress to D.C. to shut down the government, we send them to represent our interest.”

Adam Lei, associate professor of finance, said the economy will continue to suffer at the hands of lawmakers until members of the House and Senate can come to an agreement.

“Right now, volatility will go up in the stock market given the uncertainty,” Lei said. “There was a case like this in the past, and Congress finally agreed, but the market went down the next day.”

Lei said the shutdown is not good for the economy in the long run because uncertainty always has a bad effect on the stock market.

“Human nature is part of finance,” Lei said. “Do you like uncertainty? That’s why we see market volatility when government or Congress can’t agree.”

Justin Scott, graduate student of finance, said he thinks the government shutdown will only last for a few days.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Congress to get things up and running,” Scott said.

Scott said that Republicans are wrong to cause a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare.’

“The government shutdown doesn’t even affect ‘Obamacare’ at all. It’s already paid for, all of that money has been appropriated,” Scott said. “It’s petty to use an agenda like that to get what they want.  Right now it’s law, and we need to go along with it.”

Scott said the blame should fall on the lawmakers rather than the system itself because Republicans are only trying to fulfill their agenda of stopping the Affordable Care Act.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a flawed system, I still think it’s the best system in the world, but until the tea party and Democrats can get along, we’ll have these problems,” Scott said. “I get tired of Republicans saying Democrats won’t compromise. I don’t agree with that because Democrats don’t come with their own agenda.”

Lei said the economy won’t begin to stabilize until House Republicans can settle their differences with Democrats in the Senate, something that may not come easily when each member has a personal agenda to fulfill.

“Each member of Congress has their own agenda,” Lei said,”that makes it hard for them to reach a conclusion, at least in my opinion.”

Additional reporting by Ethan Metcalf