As the partial federal government shutdown enters its 16th day, and the nation edges closer to default, a major credit agency has put the U.S. on a “negative ratings watch.” Locally, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be shuttered starting Wednesday, sending at least 5,500 employees home without pay. We check in on the impacts of the shutdown and Congressional wrangling over reopening government.

Bruce Cain, professor of political science at Stanford University
Lisa Mascaro, Congressional correspondent for the Washington Bureau of the Los Angeles Times
Jim Wilcox, professor at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

  • Livegreen

    One cannot talk about Default & not talk about the potential global implications for both the U.S., China & the World. Perpetual disfunction & playing with the stability, the very foundation of the U.S. Government & the world economy is not something other countries are going to put up with forever.

    If China is perceived to be a more stable host for the global economy, and the Yuan thus a more viable currency, the U.S. could be permanently weakened. Then the rise of China & its communist-capitalist system would be assured.

    Of course none of this is assured, but its made significantly more likely. Why risk finding out?

  • wt

    house republicans changed house rules XXII, clause 4 with house rule 368 on oct. 1st:

  • One subject that is not discussed at all in this context is the issue of public debt and forecast growth in long term obligations. In the very near past as Greece and other European countries were facing into their own financial challenges, plenty of attention was paid to the very large combination of US public debt and long term obligation growth. Isn’t this whole issue really about facing that problem off now before it creates much more severe financial issues?

  • timholton

    Whatever happens, going down the road ahead feels a bit like walking onto the Golden Gate Bridge handcuffed to a person with suicidal tendencies. States and municipalities had better start figuring out how they can be more self-reliant and resilient.

  • pm05

    This is all on Mitch McConnell who said even before Obama was in office that he would do whatever to be sure he wasn’t elected. McConnell set the tone to begin with. He should have said that we the people elected our president and that he would work with him for the country. McConnell did not! And…. now we have the Tea Party……who again will NOT accept that WE elected Obama

    • Realist

      This is all nonsense. The US Constitution gives the US government the right to print money. We do not need to have ANY debt. We haven’t printed our own money however so Abe Lincoln printed Greenbacks, because the international banking cartel wants their private Federal Reserve to control our currency, debt and economy. (No, the Fed is not federal, nor is it a reserve. It’s owned by the big banks and has been from the start.)

      Learn history before you assume you understand.

  • In other words, wasn’t the push back on the affordable care act, at least in part a negotiating tool to leverage more fundamental change?

  • Jonathan Schell

    Big money has to be removed from politics. Legislators will then listen to the common people.

  • Skip Conrad

    Yes, who exactly does the tea party represent? Who comprise it’s constituency? Military? Elderly? Middle class?
    And the previous radical republican wing – what were they called? – oh, yeah, the neo-cons: pro-war, pro-Israel? well-educated? upper class? elitist?
    Seems like an entirely different bunch.

  • Bob Fry

    3 days running that Forum has scheduled time to discuss the BART talks, then silently not done so. Is there something going on secretly we’re not hearing about?

  • Russell Jones

    I was hoping someone could explain this to me; how is it that 20+ tea-party republicans can influence Boehner to not put any particular bill to a floor vote (like the Senate bill from a few days ago)? I hadn’t heard about the Hastert rule until today (having majority support of the majority party), but how does 20+ House representatives prevent having a majority of House Republicans support a particular bill?

    In other words, how can their threat of loss-of-speakership (or whatever they are threatening) mean anything since they are small in number?

    • Steve

      My understanding is, the Tea Partiers are threatening moderate Republicans with primary challenges if they don’t go along with their tactics. And when I say “Tea Partiers”, that includes the conservative groups who “score” votes in Congress. That’s a fascinating part of this – Congress members will vote one way or another on a bill depending on whether and how a particular interest group “scores” that vote as for them or against them.

      • Russell Jones

        Thanks for the response, and I understand what you’re saying, but it is still the speaker and he alone that decides whether or not a bill is put to the floor for a vote. Boehner did not allow the “clean” Senate bill to go to the floor for a vote, presumably because of the Tea-party influence. A bill that had a chance of passing with (probably) all Democrats voting for it.

        That is, I can understand a group holding sway with others and their voting decisions by way of the methods you mentioned, but to continually influence the speaker as to what bills are scheduled/not schedule for a vote, especially for bills that actually may get a majority of the entire house seems like a whole different ball game.

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