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The numbers tell the story

December 7, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

A letter suggested that the Republicans "shut down our federal government for 8 years." Perhaps history will tell another story.

Obama started his presidency with a 60 to 49 majority in the Senate and a majority in the House. The Democrats did nothing with this free pass for legislation.

One of the responsibilities of a leader is to meet with leaders on both sides of the aisle and see what needs to be done to pass legislation. Obama made no attempt to meet with Republicans. For example from a news article of that era: "March of 2013 was the first time Obama visited his main antagonists on Capitol Hill on their own turf since 2009 - just a week after he took office and when they remained a House minority."

The disastrous ObamaCare bill was pushed through at midnight on a technicality with no input wanted from Republicans and not a single Republican vote. Some Democrats did not vote for the bill.

Harry Reid, the majority leader, blocked bills submitted by the Republican House and even bills submitted by Democrats. At one point in 2014, Harry Reid had over 300 bills setting on his desk which he did not submit to committees or the floor. After the Republicans once again obtained control of the Senate they had more bills and amendments on the floor of the Senate in three months than Harry Reid allowed in a whole term.

Gullible comes to mind as one who would believe that a minority party stopped the federal government. It is more probable that the President was not a leader and had no idea how to work in the democratic system that we have.

John Benedict

Cape Coral



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