At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times, for a total of twelve days, as a result of failed budget negotiations between the White House, a Republican Senate, and House Democrats under the leadership of Speaker Tip O’Neill (D., Mass.)Not unprecedented and not "political terrorism" as the White House spokesperson and Chris Matthews would have you believe.
From Kevin Williamson:
Even without extending the debt ceiling, current revenues are more than enough to cover debt payments, several times over. Surely an administration that ... claims the unilateral power to assassinate American citizens is not waiting on Congress to tell the Treasury Department how to perform its most elementary function?This talk of default is political gamesmanship at its worst.
So just to summarize,
- the Constitution gives the House the authority to originate all spending bills,
- the House has passed four bills that would continue the government,
- the Senate has refused to even take a vote on any of them
- the House has talked about passing bills to fund certain parts of the government
- the President has announced that he will veto any such bills
- the President has refused, at the urging of Senator Harry Reid, to have any discussions with House leadership on the issue
By any standard, it is the Senate and the President who have shut down the government.