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US Government Shutdown: Obama to miss APEC Summit

White houseAs the US Government ceased all non-essential operations on Tuesday, President Barak Obama has cancelled his participation at the Asia–Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meeting in Indonesia due to the government shutdown.

On Tuesday, Republicans refused to approve a budget unless Barak Obama delayed his healthcare reform. This disagreement of Obama and Democrats has paved the way for a government shutdown. On Wednesday, the White House announced that Obama would postpone his visits to Malaysia and the Philippines. Then On Friday, President Obama informed the Indonesian President that he would not attend the APEC summit.

Department of Commerce and Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency are the worst affected by this government shutdown. “Protection of wildlife and property” is the only section that continues to work at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Only 30 workers are working at the National Science Foundation while Departments of Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Labor and Transportation are only partly open.

Republican House Speaker, John Boehnr states that Obama and Democratic Senate leaders are willing to hold discussions on this shutdown while Obama says that he is ready to negotiate about a range of issues once the government is reopened. But he urged that he will not negotiate over the terms of the debt limit legislation. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the US will be forced to an unprecedented debt that may result in throwing the economy back into a recession.

This is not the first US Government Shutdown. The last shutdown before this was during 1995-1996 due to a conflict between the then President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress. During that shutdown, the government suspended non-essential services for 28 days.

Certain officials of the government were willing to donate their salaries during the shutdown. As CNN poll proves that 68% of Americans think shutting down the government is a bad idea while 27% think it is OK, it’s evident that the majority are willing to get rid of the current political impasse.

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