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Don't Obamacare-obsessed Republicans have better things to do?
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The days of House Speakers Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Sam Rayburn, John McCormack and Carl Albert are gone. Poor John Boehner is a House speaker by title only. He is, metaphorically speaking, an empty suit trying to hold on to his title and its fancy perks. Appease 40 of the 233 Republican members who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and if you don’t, you’re out of a job. You don’t have to be a student of government to realize that at least the House of Representatives is paralyzed.

Are there other issues that our elected federal officials should focus on instead of repealing health care for 30 million Americans? There are plenty. After the horrendous killing of a group of employees at the Washington Naval Yard, questions should be raised about the lack of security at federal facilities. America is making great strides toward becoming energy-independent, no longer reliant on Arab oil. How do we accelerate that effort, and how quickly can we do it? How do we make college more affordable for students drowning in debt?

The list of unfinished business in Washington is longer than you can imagine. Our economy is still in need of help from Congress. Our bridges and roads are in disrepair. There is a growing gap between rich and poor in this country, and nothing is being done to address it. Our college graduates are struggling to find jobs and begin meaningful careers. These issues are a lot more important than the battle by a few Tea Party zealots to repeal a health care program that is the law of the land.

Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.


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Mr. Kremer, you're first mistake is referring to the United States as the world's No. 1 democracy? We are a representative republic, and we are no longer that either. When your elected officials don't listen to their constitutents and have their own personal agenda, everyone suffers.

I, frankly, am glad the government has shut down. Now, maybe the people will realize how little we really need them. We were once a nation of great people, self-sufficient, proud, full of ingenuity and integrity. Now, millions have become dependent on government handouts, and Obamacare is just another one. Remember, the borrower is slave to the lender, no matter what's being given out. So I am enthusiatically and positively elated that the Republicans are not letting this entitlement go through without a fight. It's good old American gumption! And boo-hoo for the majority of federal employees sitting at home...WAAAAA.....what about all the private sector people sitting at home because of Obama's poor economic policies? What? They don't matter? Only our "precious" federal workers matter. Bah Humbug to you Mr. Kremer!

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