Response to Week 14 – The Budget Battle Isn’t Over

In Catherine Rampell’s article “The Budget Battle Isn’t Over. It’s Just Beginning” (2015), she warns that a government shutdown is imminent due to the use of “riders” on passed legislation to unfairly influence the spending budget. 

Two Deviant Phrases
“Riders” =
 This term refers to an additional provision added to a bill or piece of legislation, but that has little to no relation to the larger bill.
 “Gridlock” =
This occurs during a political stalemate in which the two parties cannot come to a decision.
“Power of the Purse” =
This refers to the ability of a lobbyist or another group to influence the government through withholding funding and necessary money.
Two Vocabulary Word
Net Neutrality – a proposed idea to “free the Internet” and end censoring of content by Internet service providers; it is being called the “Obamacare” of the Internet
Appropriations – money allotted for a specific purpose 
Two Abstract Connections 
Rampell suggests that this rider can cause another government shut down. This is similar to the Wilmot Proviso following the Mexican-American War. It was a rider that was supposed to ban slavery in the newly annexed territories, and controversy of this rider, which did not pass, triggered the Civil War. It is debatable whether modern Republican-Democratic squabbles will escalate to this point.

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court decided in the landmark Citizens United case that corporations have constitutionally-protected rights and are able to use their money to influence political decisions. This corruption has now even spread inside the government itself. Similarly, the political parties are using a government shutdown and budget withholding in order to achieve their personal goals.


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