Let’s Shut Down the Shutdown! (Oct. 10, 2013)

The shutdown of the Federal government is now in its second week – with no end in sight. Even worse, the United States is in danger of defaulting on its debt as the deadline for Congress to raise the nation’s debt ceiling is fast approaching without any prospects for resolution.

Instead of statesmanship and thoughtful negotiation, we are getting sound bites, slogans and bumper sticker rhetoric from the leadership of both parties. Frankly, I’m dismayed by this new low in the hyper-partisanship and dysfunction of Capitol Hill.

This type of political gamesmanship, which hurts real people, is the reason why I am registered as an Independent, and why I helped co-found a political reform organization called No Labels, which seeks to limit hyper-partisanship in Congress.

I disagree with those Republicans who tied keeping the government open to ending the Affordable Care Act. Admittedly, implementation of this law has serious challenges and there is room for improvement. But intentionally creating an avoidable crisis that damages our economy and undermines our fiscal health is not the solution.

I’m also disappointed by the refusal of the President to negotiate with the Republicans in Congress. Both sides need to come together to find common solutions to our nation’s problems.

Enough with the politics! It’s time to shut down the Shutdown and have Congress get back to work solving our nation’s problems instead of creating more of them. I hope you agree.