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October 15, 2013

Letter: Republicans rewrite federal shutdown

To the editor:

President Obama has made a persuasive case that the government is being held hostage by a hard core of Republicans led by Sen. Cruz and the Tea Party in the House.

Now it appears that the onus is being placed by Republicans on the president and the government for not permitting selective exemptions or not permitting some exemptions while permitting others.

The hostages, meanwhile, have started to disappear as the Defense Department has canceled furloughs on most civilians and other agencies have made exemptions as well. So, where is the shutdown bogey now? Who is now responsible?

Republicans, notably Sen. McConnell and others, have made a point of proposing exemptions on cases such as payments of death benefits to families of servicemen and women thereby casting themselves as negotiators. The reasons for the shutdown have been lost behind management of the effects.

Damage has been done particularly to certain groups including those who can least afford it. Forgotten for the moment is sequestration which continues to take its toll on the economy in random and unfortunate ways.

BILL JACKSON

Gloucester

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