In his Oct. 3 letter blaming Democrats for the government shutdown, Danny Hayes omits some pertinent facts. When the House of Representatives sent funding bills which defunded or delayed Obamacare to the Senate on Sept. 30, all members knew the Senate wouldn't pass them and the president wouldn't sign them. So these were merely publicity stunts.
He also didn't mention that the Senate had already sent a funding resolution without conditions to the House, but Speaker Boehner refused to bring it up for a vote. No one could explain why. Then, 15 minutes before the shutdown, Republicans asked for a conference. Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "We will not negotiate with a gun to our head." A New York Times editorial stated, "The time to do so is not while dangling over an abyss." But Hayes' claim that Reid had refused many times in previous months to negotiate over the budget is completely opposite to the truth. Since April, Senate Democrats had asked for a conference 18 times, but Republicans refused. Sen. John McCain charged that Republican refusal to participate in a budget conference was "absolutely out of line and unprecedented." Two questions for Mr. Hayes: - Which Article in the Constitution specifies that a House of Congress can repeal or defund a law they don't like by using extortion on a funding bill? - If Americans are so opposed to Obamacare, as you claim, why didn't they elect Mitt Romney, who promised to repeal it on his first day in office?