Do you know where your government is? U.S. politics in brief

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By Chelsea Mickel

Since the beginning of Obama’s first term in office, the Republican use of the filibuster has reached record levels.

Filibusters have been used for a variety of reasons, ranging from the current government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act to the president’s nominees for federal judges, and not even those for the Supreme Court.

It is true that the Democrats first started amassing the use of the filibuster during Bush’s term in office, but it can be witnessed by the current government shutdown that the Republican and Democratic parties have reached new levels of antagonism.

Even talks over the temporary raising of the debt ceiling so that the United States does not default have been relatively fruitless. The Republican Party, especially the Tea Party branch, is refusing to reach a decision on the national budget unless the funding for so-called “Obamacare” is either withdrawn completely or is substantially delayed.

The Obama administration, in response, refuses to give in to the tactics of Congress to threaten default for fear that this may start an epidemic of the opposing party.

If it turns out that the Republican Party gets its way, their success could create a precedence for the parties to threaten each other with not passing the budget to get their proposals accepted.

A consequence of the recent shutdown is a large drop in the Republican approval rating and an increase in the approval rating of the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act.

The tactic seems to be blowing up in the faces of those who instituted it. Around the world, governments are looking at the situation in the United States and are puzzled by the ability of Congress to render such stagnation in the country’s domestic affairs.

President Obama’s inability to attend the APEC summit concerned many Asian countries.

In general, many governments are concerned over the possibility of default in the United States, since we are the world’s largest economy, and economic hardship felt by our nation will have ramifications worldwide.

Although the current events do not seem to point in any clear direction of what will come of the nation’s budget, the country can only hope that the leaders of both parties can come together and compromise in order to preserve the slowly-recovering economy as well as the American people’s faith in their government.

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