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As the world watches the United States government remain shut down for x days, St. John’s students are also developing their own opinions on how Congress handles its issues and what is at the core of the problem.
“It’s not the first time it’s happened,” first-year law student Stan Khaldarov said. “I frankly feel like it’s embarrassing to have a government that acts in such a way.”
With Republicans on one side concerned with defunding or delaying the Affordable Health Care Act in their proposed spending bill, and Obama and the democrats unwilling to negotiate, students feel the shutdown is an unnecessary result of failed compromises between two distinct political parties.
“It’s been a series of give-and-take negotiations and no one is really giving in and it seems that people are working more toward their party loyalties than what is supposed to be a constituent base service,” junior Pedro Alfonso said.
But with the Affordable Care Act at the root of the debates, students emphasized a clear disconnect between the Republican Party and the American people.
“It’s not fun to watch people say: ‘Oh there’s a bill that is gonna try to get people that are working and don’t have health insurance, health insurance and get some sort of coverage.’ And then there’s people who are trying to shoot that down?” senior Jack Wells said.
Junior Stephanie Borges-Nizama said the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is not representing the best interests of the American people. She said they will never know the day-by-day hardships of the working class because they are still getting paid.
“I feel they need to re-evaluate their values and what it is that they really stand for,” Borges said. “If they are gonna talk so much smack about standing up for the American people well then I’m sorry but you’re not showing it to me.”
Senior Shama Ams, a government and politics major, concluded that the small radical group within the Republican Party is attempting to rewrite history on an election they just lost by repealing Obamacare.
“The answer for the party then is not to acquiesce to an increasingly small fringe but to reevaluate their beliefs to understand why Americans have rebuffed them these past few election cycles,” Ams said.
So why continue with a debate that may further damage their reputation?
Alfonso said the Republican Party is scared.
“I have a feeling that the Republican Party is scared that Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, might work,” Alfonso said.
The success of Obamacare would apparently “destroy” the Republican party.
However, the fact that the act was already signed into law and ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court makes their efforts meaningless, according to Alfonso.
“But still they want to defund something when there is a president still in office, which doesn’t make sense to me,” Alfonso said. “Why would [Obama sign] a law against a law that he already passed?”
So the overarching question that remains is whether both parties can come to some sort of consensus before the October 17th deadline when the global community will feel the economic shock waves of the U.S.’ inability to pay its bills.
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