By Robert A. Vellla

Late last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 285-144 to end the manufactured government shutdown and to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.  Earlier in the day, the U.S. Senate had approved the bill on an 81-18 vote.  This agreement is a stunning defeat for the radical right-wing Tea Party, which is fervently opposed to President Obama’s signature achievement in health insurance reform (i.e. the Affordable Care Act) and determined to empower the states by eviscerating the federal government.  The total economic cost of the two-week political impasse has been estimated to be $24 billion.  The costs resulting from a decline in public trust for America’s institutions, and the damage done to confidence in the U.S. overseas, have yet to be determined.

What did the Tea Party get in return for causing this crisis?  Nothing, other than a temporary continuance of reduced federal spending levels set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (i.e. sequestration);  which, by the way, many Republicans had hypocritically argued against.

All 144 “No” votes in the House were cast by Republicans.  Here is a map showing the states where those representatives are from:

Republicans who voted against ending government shutdown

It should be noted that the bulk of the opposition to sane, responsible governance is centered on the old Confederate states in the South, and a number of seats in the Great Lakes region which were won by the GOP during the 2010 midterm elections and then subsequently gerrymandered to make them safer for their incumbent candidates.  Texas had more than twice as many “No” votes as any other state.

2 thoughts on “Tea Party loses final vote on Government Shutdown, total cost estimated at $24 billion

  1. Nice analysis. Do you think it’s true that the tea party got nothing?

    250,00 jobs were lost in the Obama administration.
    Our government is shrinking on federal, state, and local levels.
    The economy suffered under the Obama administration.
    Enforcement of environmental regulations were stopped,
    The NSF arctic research program was compromised if not made useless by scientists having to stop collecting data.

    All this is not to say that I disagree with you–it’s just that I wonder if this damage to Obama’s administration could be things the tea party might consider to be accomplishments.

    Perhaps I’m being overly cynical.


    • No, I wouldn’t say you’re being cynical. But, it’s important to recognize that the Tea Party’s goals are not the same as those for more traditional Republicans. This is why there is such a schism currently in the GOP. The Tea Party is innately, and insanely – IMO, absolutist. Nothing less than the destruction of American democracy through the evisceration of the federal government will do. Since that is their ultimate goal, what transpired over the government shutdown crisis must be considered as failure.


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