President has Personal Discretion in Government Shutdown
This was originally posted April 09, 2011 during that threat of government shutdown. It’s regrettable the American people are rounding this corner again. The sharp contrast of lost standards from a mere two-years ago reflects how Obama has effectively “nudged” a serious deterioration of American expectations. This is a most shameful course of action for any American President.
The president has enormous personal discretion in deciding ‘who’ and ‘what’ gets paid during a government shutdown. He can use that discretion to turn a government shutdown into a favorable or unfavorable event for The People; or, as has been the case with this president, to use it against The People to propagandize his own political gain. Legal authorities have suggested this behavior is impeachable. Bring it on.
Those certain to be paid without interruption are the politicians: The White House, Congress and their staffs. Most of us don’t know that “furloughed” federal employees are typically paid retroactively anyway. Of late we’ve been told federal employees were furloughed only to find they didn’t work but they did continue to receive pay. This sheds a glaring light on Obama’s self-serving propensity for imposing harships on people of an entire country, purely for sake of his personal pleasure and propagandizing political gain.
The big question in 2011’s government shutdown was, how does an American President possibly justify denying pay to troops who are defending our country; and to our most vulnerable elderly who’ve built it? Who among us could possibly condone such acts?
Prior administrations have generally accepted that the following services remain uninterrupted:
Services funded by permanent appropriations that don’t expire; and some services funded by annual appropriations, “if there’s a reasonable and articulable connection between the function to be performed and the safety of human life or the protection of property.”
Services that legally require new appropriations, having expired during a shutdown, can be extended, such as “national security, law enforcement and medical care for those already in hospitals, as well as some that many might find both surprising and infuriating, like ‘the conduct of foreign relations’.” Services requiring new appropriations are the government services most typically subject to shutdown. This president has proven his decisions as anything but “typical.”
Stan Collender of Capital Gains and Games of Roll Call, a political and economic news source, wrote “President has the Upper Hand in a Shutdown.” The article discusses a president’s wide range of personal discretion (excerpted below). It is appalling how much Obama has so radically altered this rationale from a mere two-years ago when first reported:
The Obama administration will have enormous discretion in other ways. Whole departments, agencies and programs are not automatically exempt just because they fall into one of the categories, it will be up to the White House to decide which activities will be conducted if a shutdown actually occurs.
The administration is also free to reject precedents for reasons that include economic and technological changes, new programs and functions, political hardball, and more.
The bottom line about a federal government shutdown is simple: The president has far more room to maneuver and is in a much better position to take control of the situation than Congress. As Clinton showed in 1995 and 1996, when he reclassified some programs several weeks into the fight so that they could operate despite originally being on the shutdown list, the White House even has the ability to change its determinations.
The same information was consistently available from a variety of news sources, the below excerpted from “Administration Paints Picture of Possible Government Shutdown” by Kimberly Schwandt of Fox News:
The Obama administration clarified the scope of the potential government shutdown saying that it would impact about 800,000 employees and stop services like IRS paper filling and returns, and close institutions like the Smithsonian.
A senior administration official also said that military personnel would continue to earn money, however they wouldn’t actually receive it until the government is funded again. They’ll be receiving full pay checks until April 8.
There are two areas that guide who will stay working. Government activities will stay open that:
1) Have alternative funding – like user fees or appropriations that aren’t renewed every year.
2) Are necessary for safety of life and protection of property.
Here’s a snapshot of what else stays open and what closes during this potential shutdown:
800,000 federal employees (the same as 1995) the official says is the “vicinity” of workers who would be affected.
Military members will continue get paid through April 8th, but after that are only earning and will get money when the government is funded again.
What services will be suspended? IRS filings with paper claims won’t be processed and audits will also be stopped. Electronic claims will continue. Small business loans and Federal House Administration mortgages will also be halted. (The official noted that FHA had 12 percent of housing market in 1995, and now it’s up to 30 percent)
Another excellent source is by Ed O’keefe at Federal Eye entitled “Government Shutdown: Facts and Figures.” These linked articles provide important, additional information about what is and is not typical in government shutdowns.
In 2011 I wanted to know why Obama, at his personal discretion, routinely opted not to keep paychecks going to our Troops overseas and during his “Kinetic Military Action?” Did he forget he’s supposed to be their “Commander In Chief” and the responsibilities that job truly entails? Did he ever know? Or is it as simple as it seems: Obama only knows how to use those around him in appeasing himself?
Given the countless lies this administration told in trying to ramp up fake consequences of the Sequester, we no longer have to ask these questions. If by now you are not indignantly insulted by the fools this president plays us, nothing can help. These are Obama’s personal choices. It cannot be any more clear than it is why he’s making personal choices that are directly aimed at denegrating us as a people. It is what it is. He is what he is.