By threatening to shut down the federal government in an attempt to block medical care for 30 million lower-income Americans, the GOP has become "the crazy party," Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote.
"It grows increasingly hard to see how, in the face of Republican hysteria over health reform, we can avoid a government shutdown -- and maybe the even-more-frightening prospect of a debt default," he said.
Krugman added that the conservative party is utilizing "blackmail -- by threatening to bring the federal government, and maybe the whole economy, to its knees unless its demands were met."
The U.S. government officially will run out of money Tuesday, Oct. 1. House Republicans -- who have voted more than 40 times to wipe out the 2010 Affordable Care Act -- passed stopgap funding through mid-December, but without money for ACA.
They know that the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate won't accept this destruction of health insurance for millions more "working poor" American families. Presumably, the Senate will restore ACA funding and send the bill back to the House, producing another Washington stalemate.
Shamefully, both of West Virginia's Republican representatives, Shelley Capito and David McKinley, voted to kill the ACA.
In mid-October, when it's time to raise the federal debt ceiling again, everyone expects the GOP to employ the same blackmail tactic -- refusing to raise the ceiling unless the Affordable Care Act is revoked.
This is heartless and ruthless. Why are Republicans hell-bent to take medical insurance away from people in need? Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, called the shutdown threat a "blatant act of hostage-taking." Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote last week:
"Congressional Republicans have gone directly from conservatism to fanaticism without any intervening period of sanity .... The Republican Party is no longer capable of governing the nation. It's now a fanatical group run out of right-wing states by a cadre of nihilists, Know-nothings and a handful of billionaires."
Senate President Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Republicans want "to take an entire law hostage simply to appease the Tea Party anarchists."
President Obama declared: "We're not going to allow anyone to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point."
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said: "This is totally irresponsible, completely juvenile and, as I called it, legislative arson. It's just destructive."
Sen. Claire McDaskill, D-Mo., added: "I cannot believe that they are going to throw a tantrum and throw the American people and our economic recovery under the bus."
West Virginia voters chose the GOP ticket in the last four presidential elections. Is this what those voters wanted -- to wreck the U.S. government, rather than let "working poor" families have health care?It seems loony to us.