Letter to the Editor
President Obama doesn’t need to allow Congress to shut down the government if congress fails to pass a budget. The President has emergency powers he can use and he can keep America running but executive order and he should set a precedent and just do it.
What am I talking about? Obama has the power against an attack without the consent of Congress under the theory that as commander in chief he has to protect America from imminent danger. Likewise in the case of a hurricane or flood he can act immediately to avoid any kind of national crisis. A government shutdown is a national crisis. Obama could just order the equivalent of a continuing resolution rather that allow America to be help hostage because Congress failed to do their job in time.
Congress has a duty to pass a budget or pass a continuing resolution by October 1st. To deliberately shut down the government would be an act of treason against the American people. So since we are going to believe that no one would intentionally harm America by doing that then what we have is a temporary emergency and the President can constitutionally act in a temporary emergency just as he would in a natural disaster or an attack on America.
Additionally, when there is a government shutdown the whole government doesn’t shut down. The soldiers in Afghanistan don’t stop fighting, the post office continues to deliver mail, and the Federal Reserve continues to spend 85 billion a month to prop up Wall Street, and Congress and the President continue to get paid. Why the exceptions? Because the executive powers of the President allows the President to maintain vital services. So Obama is already using this constitutional power for Wall Street, just not the rest of us.
This use of emergency powers would not replace the budget process. Congress still has a duty to pass a budget. But it would allow the country to continue to run until Congress completes its job. Obama not only has the power to do it, he has a duty to do it.