The last time the government was shut down in 1995-1996, it was clear where the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives was coming from. Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich led the "Republican Revolution" in a showdown against former President Bill Clinton.
Today, just who the flag bearers are for the House Republicans is much less clear.
Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker highlight 20 House Republicans who have "outflanked" their leader -- Speaker John Boehner -- in today's New York Times. They write that these Republicans "have led the push to tie the dismantling of President Obama's health care law to the passage of a budget resolution that would end the government shutdown."
Michigan Rep. Justin Amash is among the 20 named in the piece.
For nearly three years, Mr. Boehner has been vexed by an ungovernable conservative group made of up ideologically committed conservatives from safe House seats. The group has defied his leadership, rallied others to its cause and worn its gadfly status proudly.
It's not surprise. Amash, and two others named in the piece, were among twelve Republicans in the House who did not support Boehner for Speaker of the House last January.
Boehner told the group that he would not hold a grudge against them, and Boehner is now leading the charge during the shutdown.
At a town hall meeting last January, Amash explained how he thinks significant change in Washington will only come if voters demand it.
“The only way it’s going to change is if the public understands the problem. And that’s why I think it’s much more important to persuade the public of the problem, to have the public understand the problem, than it is to have my colleagues understand the problem,” Amash said.
That appears to be the gambit being played with the government shutdown -- to see where the pressure from the public lands as the fallout from the shutdown continues to build.
Here's a quote from one of the Republican House Representatives demanding concessions in the Affordable Care Act in exchange for passage of the budget resolution:
“We’ve passed the witching hour of midnight, and the sky didn’t fall, nothing caved in,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who still believes Republicans can achieve “the end of Obamacare.” “Now the pressure will build on both sides, and the American people will weigh in.”
There's no end in sight. The fight continues as the pressure builds.
Here are some tweets sent today by some Michigan Republican representatives:
— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) October 2, 2013
— Rep Tim Walberg (@RepWalberg) October 2, 2013
And some Michigan Democratic representatives:
— Sandy Levin (@repsandylevin) October 2, 2013
This shutdown was brought about by fools. Folks acting like experts on this place before they even knew where restrooms were. #GOPshutdown
— John Dingell (@john_dingell) October 1, 2013