Government Shutdown Day 5: No End In Sight

The Government Shutdown — which has left children with cancer in the lurch, food benefits cut off, and members of congress still handsomely paid, along with a myriad of other bad stuff — has barreled into its fifth day, with still no substantive progress on a deal that would restore the Federal government.

While the House has focused on passing piecemeal funding measures that would restore some vital functions of the government, like FEMA and nutritional assistance, Senate Democrats have resisted measures that would let the attack on the Affordable Care Act continue past this current spending impasse.

“We are locked in an epic battle,” House Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans on Friday, according to the New York Times. He urged his fellow Republicans to "hang tough."

House Republicans seems badly fractured at the moment, as more moderate members of the party push for a stopgap spending bill that would spare Republicans any more of the blame for the shutdown. Where the actual GOP decision-making is being made however, doesn't seem to be from the House itself. Instead, the shutdown still seems to be engineered by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

When asked where Republicans go from here, California Republican Devin Nunes told reporters, “You really have to call Cruz, I’m not even joking about that. That’s really what you have to do, because he’s the one that set up the strategy, he’s the one that got us into this mess, and so we’ve got to know what the next move is.”

With a party only unified in its dissent, and seemingly nothing else, Republicans seem poised to continue the shutdown well into next week. This will be very bad news for the over a million Federal workers deemed "essential" who are being made to work during the shutdown, but will not receive a paycheck for their work until the government reopens (whenever that may be). The news is even worse for Americorps VISTA volunteers throughout the country who, while fighting poverty, will have to do without their meager living stiped until the spending crisis is resolved.

There is one bright side of the shutdown however — because of the closure of National Parks, the Ku Klux Klan will be unable to march through the Gettysburg battlefield today. Instead, they have pledged to inundate the town of Gettysburg itself.