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Shutdown ends, restarting life for many
Oct 17, 2013 | 1523 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Tom Busselberg

Managing Editor

BOUNTIFUL - The federal shutdown is over, and the federal government can officially continue operating, including meeting its already-incurred debt obligations. At least until early next year.

But State Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, for one, was not happy, overall, when giving his assessment of the situation.

"I'm glad the shutdown is over. It was affecting Utah in a bad way, affecting real lives, real businesses, real jobs. The shutdown forced the state government to step in and spend over $100 million to at least keep the national parks open, and to fund other services felt vital," he said.

Weiler expressed obvious relief that thousands of civilian employees at Hill AFB could return to work, Thursday,

But he was still critical of the debacle in Washington, laying the blame not only on the Democratic Party, but also his own Republican contingent in Congress.

"It's a sad, sad situation, all for naught," Weiler said. "In a very real way,  Mike Lee threw an interception and Obama ran for a touchdown. I know what we gained, the end of pain and misery for three weeks. But now the Republicans are less likely to retake Congress next year. What have we accomplished?

"I think all we've done is kick the can down the road for three-four months. We'll have the same debacle, and a threatened default in January. I think it's disgusting as a country that we are spending more money than we can afford. That's reckless and unsustainable," he said.

He reiterated that raising the debt ceiling is not about spending more money, but covering funds already spent until the end of the last fiscal year, which ended Oct. 1.

"We need fiscal control, but don't accomplish anything by defaulting on the obligations we've already made," the one-time Woods Cross city councilman said.

"I'm mad and upset. I know this is not over," said Hill AFB F-35 sheet metal worker Jody Rose, quoted previously in Clipper shutdown articles. 

"And I'm mad that Congress put federal employees threw this! I have no anger for the president. I feel Congress was playing a game with other people's money and still have no permanent resolution. They could have worked on health care later. Let's fix the budget first! Maybe next time Congress could go without pay and deal with the layoff."

"This manufacturing crisis was an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction from our critical work of keeping the country said," said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said.

But U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, of Farmington, voted against raising the debt ceiling.

"I've been in a long fight to protect the American people from the terribly destructive effects of Obamacare, a fight that has included more than a dozen votes to defend, delay or modify the bill as well as to extract any kind of spending concessions from the administration to help solve our nation's long-term debt.

"On all fronts, the president and Senate Democrats have turned us away," he said in a prepared statement.

On the debt ceiling, Stewart said he has always believed it "must be coupled with spending and entitlement reforms that will balance our budget and allow us to being paying down the debt."

"Our national debt, which will double under this administration, is now approaching $17 trillion. I could not vote to increase the debt ceiling as the legislation does not include any spending cuts or reforms and included numerous additional spending provisions," he said of Wednesday night's vote.

"We simply can't keep spending money we don't have," Stewart said.

Only two members of Utah's delegation voted affirmatively: Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Democrat Jim Matheson. All others voted against it, including Rob Bishop, whose district includes Davis County from Kaysville north.

The end of the shutdown immediately opened a door for Fruit Heights couple Fred and Marty Martin.

Both of them are 90, and both of them also served in World War II.

"They've never been to the World War II Memorial," said Julie Parker, Autumn Glow Senior Activity Center manager.  

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