Letters to the editor for Oct. 21, 2013

By Observer editorial October 21, 2013 11:36 am

Walden put GOP part ahead of country’s needs

To the Editor:

Congress has approved a continuing resolution and raised the debt ceiling in order to re-open the government and insure the U.S. will not default on its obligations.

Republicans in the House and Senate manufactured this crisis to force what they had not been able to do legislatively or at the ballot box. They hoped to derail the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

Republicans ignored that the law was the product of more than 14 months of negotiation and compromise; that it was upheld by the Supreme Court; and that the candidates who ran on repealing it lost the presidential election by a wide margin. They ignored that they themselves voted unsuccessfully more than 40 times to repeal it.

Standard & Poor’s estimates the 16-day government shutdown cost our economy $24 billion and will reduce fourth-quarter growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. Here are just some of the costs:

• $3.1 billion in lost government services

• $152 million per day in lost travel spending

• $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down

• $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in Washington, D.C., alone

Of course, this list doesn’t begin to tally the damage. What about help delayed to ranchers devastated by livestock losses in the Northern Plains? What of the cost of food-borne illnesses because food inspections lapsed? What does it say about our nation that struggling families were denied food assistance?

Yet Congressman Walden voted against ending the shutdown. That is, he voted in favor of inflicting more economic damage. He voted in favor of continuing to threaten default on our debt.

Mr. Walden is the current chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the point man for Republican congressional races next year. He’s afraid of Tea Party primary challenges and losing Republican seats in 2014. So, Mr. Walden decided to put his party ahead of the country — and we paid the price.

We deserve better than this for our 2nd Congressional District and the country.

Glen Scheele


Walden voted to continue government shutdown

To The Editor:

Some in Eastern Oregon will be pleased and some will be disappointed to know that our Rep. Greg Walden voted to continue the government shutdown and for the government to default on its bills.  

An article by Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post reported that Walden will be assigned the job of bringing to task those Republicans who voted to end the shutdown.

Evelyn Swart