Roundtable: Shutdown Is Shut Down; Filner Makes A Plea; Mayoral Candidates Talk It Up
Shutdown Is Shutdown
Both the United States Senate (81 to 18) and House of Representatives (285 to 144) voted on Wednesday to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt limit. President Obama signed the legislation Thursday.
The vote on the debt ceiling came at the 11th hour. The ability of the U.S. to borrow money to pay its bills was due to expire Oct. 17, the day after the vote.
The legislation gives almost no concessions to those conservative Republicans who had sought to use the shutdown and threat of default as leverage to defund Obamacare.
As of now, the government is funded through Jan. 15, and the borrowing limit is raised until Feb. 7. However (and a very big "however"), in a separate motion, the Senate instructed negotiators to come up with a long-term blueprint for tax and spending policies by Dec. 13.
At his press conference Thursday morning, a testy President Obama decried the "completely unnecessary damage to our economy" and noted "the American people are completely fed up" with Washington. Many observers believe the entire exercise was foolish, as the destruction of the Affordable Care Act was never going to happen as long as Obama was president. Polling shows Americans put more blame for the debacle on Republicans.
The government shutdown delivered economic pain to many salaried employees, contractors and small business owners, but had the potential for severe impact in San Diego had it gone on much longer, because the regional economy is more dependent on federal dollars than most.
Filner Makes A Plea, Mayoral Candidates Talk
Former Mayor Bob Filner admitted criminality this week as he pleaded guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery.
His day in court was a grim end to the sexual harassment scandal that brought him down on Aug. 30. He will be sentenced Dec. 9.
Filner forfeits his mayoral pension from March 6 on, is required to undergo psychological counseling, serve three months of home confinement and server three years of probation. He is prevented from voting, serving on a jury or owning a firearm during his probation. He is also subject to fines and restitution for court fees and the cost of probation.
Meanwhile, the race to replace him goes on with multiple debates, including Monday at KPBS, produced by KPBS and 10News. A 10News/U-T San Diego poll shows Nathan Fletcher ahead of Kevin Faulconer 32 to 28 percent. David Alvarez is third, with 20 percent, and Mike Aguirre is polling at 8 percent.
The half-hour debate among the top four candidates at the KPBS studios was civil, although at times sarcasm and derision were the order of the day as the candidates were permitted to question each other.