Frustration Over Temporary Deal, Shutdown Put Off

By: Brian Johnson
By: Brian Johnson

They braced the cold, and spent their lunch hour voicing their frustration at Washington. About 12 people gathered outside Congressman Mike Rogers' office in Lansing Wednesday to protest the continued government shutdown.

When word spread the government would reopen, the protesters still said it wasn't good enough.

"It's not a fix. It's kicking the can down the road," said James Campana, the Chief Steward at the American Federation of Government Employees AFL-CIO Local 3272.

The protesters want long term solutions.

"Each kick down the road reduces federal funding. For example, the Social Security Administration, we are now under funded and understaffed, and we can't hire now. We are losing people as they retire," said Campana. "It's a ploy, that to a certain extent is succeeding. We are getting eaten bit-by-bit as this goes on."

While the shutdown is ending and the debt ceiling will be raised, the sequester continues-- which the protesters said is hurting their ability to work.

"I don't quite get why we don't worry about our future a little bit more and put ourselves in situations where we have to come out and stand on the street and ask our congressmen to do their job," said Glenn Freeman the President of the Greater Lansing Labor Council.

The protesters want a federal budget approved and an end to the automatic spending cuts.

Many share that view. John Cavanagh works for a firm that does public opinion polling, and said the public will have mixed reviews to Wednesday's quick fix.

"I think they will be frustrated with it," said John Cavanagh, the Co-Founder of EPIC MRA. "They will be happy that the immediate crisis might have been averted, but I don't think there is a stomach for revisiting this drama every six weeks to three months, or even six months."

The issues fought over are now on the back burner until January. Pushing the debate into an election year.

"These kind of issues are problems if they don't affect you, and they become crises when they do affect you," said Tom Shields the President of the Marketing Resource Group. "[The Shutdown] didn't reach a crisis stage for 80 percent of the people in Michigan--they really didn't feel any affect." More details on that number are found in a poll linked below.

The deal Congress made Wednesday reopens the government through January 15th. It also increases the nation's borrowing authority through February 7th.

"We are going to face this crisis again. I think Obama really did a better job on selling who was at fault on this than what the republicans did. Republicans were all over the map, they weren't consistent they, weren't cohesive as a group. Obama was consistent in his message," said Shields.

Shields says if Congress is smart, it will solve the issue before the holiday break.

"You always like to settle these types of issues the year before an election cycle," said Shields. "You don't want to necessarily go into an election with these types of issues hanging over your head."


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