Of course, as a member of Congress, Ted Cruz knows all about long weekends, doesn’t he?
“There are some Democrats, some in the media, even some Republicans, who portray a shutdown as … a horrible calamity. I think the term ‘shutdown’ is a misnomer. It’s actually a partial, temporary shutdown. We have seen them before.
“The world didn’t end. Planes didn’t fall out of the sky, Social Security checks didn’t stop, military paychecks didn’t stop, we didn’t default on our national debt,” Cruz said. “What happened was non-essential government services were temporarily suspended while the CR expired.
“That happens every single week on the weekend. Saturdays and Sundays we see temporary, partial government shutdowns, and the world doesn’t end,” Cruz said.
Just because Congress skips town for the weekend doesn’t mean the government shuts down. No. No. It may shut down for Cruz and his esteemed colleagues, but it doesn’t for the rest of the nation. And it’s not as if a government shutdown would only last for two days.
As for the idea that the government shutdown of 1995 wasn’t a “calamity,” let’s take a trip down memory lane.
A 2010 Congressional Research Service report summarized other details of the 1995-1996 government shutdowns, indicating the shutdown impacted all sectors of the economy. Health and welfare services for military veterans were curtailed; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped disease surveillance; new clinical research patients were not accepted at the National Institutes of Health; and toxic waste clean-up work at 609 sites was halted. Other impacts included: the closure of 368 National Park sites resulted in the loss of some seven million visitors; 200,000 applications for passports and 20,000 to 30,000 applications for visas by foreigners went unprocessed each day; U.S. tourism and airline industries incurred millions of dollars in losses; more than 20% of federal contracts, representing $3.7 billion in spending, were affected adversely.
As a member of the Batshit Caucus, Ted Cruz probably doesn’t believe any of that is a very big deal.