Washington at war: Political animosity reaches new, personal level
With no end in sight for the government shutdown, the partisan animosity has gotten unusually bitter and personal, even for Washington. Americans are angry too.
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Speaking for the Republican National Committee, Sen. John Cornyn said, “It has become disturbingly clear that the Obama-Reid shutdown is no longer about health care, or spending, or ideology. It’s about politics, plain and simple.”Skip to next paragraph
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“The Democrats have calculated that by prolonging the shutdown, and maximizing the pain, they can bully Republicans into doing whatever President Obama and Majority Leader Reid want them to do,” Cornyn said. “It’s a very cynical game, but Democrats have decided to play it.”
Americans are feeling pretty sour about all of this.
A new CBS News poll out Thursday night finds that “nearly nine in 10 Americans are unhappy with the way things are going in Washington, including 43 percent who are angry – up 13 points since March and the highest since CBS News began asking the question in 2010.”
As other polls have shown, Republicans apparently are taking the brunt of that public anger.
Americans disapprove of how both sides are handling the budget negotiations, but more disapprove of congressional Republicans (72 percent) than President Obama and the Democrats in Congress (61 percent), this new poll shows.
“In the current budget debate, Americans think President Obama and the Democrats (48 percent) are more concerned than the Republicans in Congress (37 percent) about doing what is best for their family,” CBS reports. “More generally, most Americans (61 percent) think congressional Republicans oppose the policies proposed by Barack Obama and the Democrats mostly to stop Democrats from gaining political advantage rather than because of a disagreement over policy.”
As the shutdown continued Saturday, the US headed for possible default Oct. 17, and the rhetorical barbs continued to fly, the two sides appeared to agree on one thing: Allowing 800,000-plus furloughed federal workers to be paid retroactively once they’re back to work, a measure likely to be approved by House, Senate, and the White House over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the economic ripple effect of the government shutdown continues.
Lockheed Martin says it will furlough 3,000 employees on Monday due to the government shutdown, The Associated Press reports.
The big defense contractor said Friday that the number of employees put on furlough will increase weekly if the shutdown continues.
Lockheed says the furloughs include employees who are unable to work because the government facility where they perform their work is closed, those whose work requires a government inspection that cannot be completed, or the company has received a stop work order.
Earlier this week, United Technologies Corp. announced that it will furlough 2,000 employees by Monday and more than 5,000 if the shutdown continues into next month.
The company said Wednesday that its Sikorsky division, which makes Black Hawk helicopters, would be hit first. It expects nearly 2,000 employees, including those employed at facilities in Connecticut, Florida and Alabama, will be furloughed on Monday.
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