government shutdown

Stateside
4:38 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Former Nixon Administration official says it's time for a new political party: The Moderate Majority

The U.S. Capitol.
user kulshrax Flickr

(Editor's note: This interview was first broadcast on November 14, 2013)

Polls following last month’s partial federal shutdown make it pretty clear: Americans are tired of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents disapproved of the shutdown. Fifty-seven percent of Americans were angry with the way Democrats handled the shutdown. In total, eight in 10 Americans say they oppose the shutdown.

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Stateside
4:10 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Did the government shutdown hurt Michigan Republicans?

The U.S. Capitol.
user kulshrax Flickr

Now that the 16-day government shutdown has been solved — at least for the time being — analysts are trying to assess the political cost of the standoff between the White House and congressional Democrats versus Republicans, who attempted to derail funding for the Affordable Care Act as a condition for funding the rest of the government.

As the standoff dragged on, the country slid towards a fiscal default, Americans aimed their fury at Congress. And though polls show many expressed anger at all parties in the standoff — from the President to, essentially, everyone in the House and Senate — the brunt of citizen anger appeared aimed at Republicans.

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Economy
4:34 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Government shutdown hurt confidence in economy, study says

Holiday shoppers.
Lizzie Williams Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

Americans are less optimistic about the economy in the wake of the partial government shutdown earlier this month.

That information is coming from the University of Michigan’s "Index of Consumer Sentiment", which measures how confident consumers are in their economy.

Experts say the latest drop in consumer sentiment may impact the holiday shopping season.

From the Associated Press:

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Weekly Political Roundup
5:44 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

What's to prevent a shutdown from happening again?

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
whitehouse.gov

After a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days, an agreement was reached Wednesday night to reopen the government. While both Democratic senators from Michigan voted "yes" on the bill to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, Republicans in the House were split. In today's Weekly Political Roundup, we check in with our political analysts Susan Demas and Ken Sikkema.

No winners on this one

"Polls indicate that this is not a popular move. Everybody took a hit, especially Republicans. They certainly came out the worst in all of this," said Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. "So, that might be some incentive to not go down this road again, but unfortunately this has become the way that we do business in this country, whenever we have a debt limit or we have to fund the government this becomes a time a great brinksmanship where people want to try and get more of their agenda passed then we have in the past." 

Republicans' "fundamental mistake"

"I think Republicans made a fundamental mistake here in trying to negotiate either an end or major changes to the Affordable Care Act, which they call Obamacare," said Ken Sikkema, former Senate majority leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants. "And, when you are in a negotiating position ... you don't ask the other side to give up on their most fundamentally held position.

"Republicans would have been better off if they had made their position something to do with entitlement reform, or debt reduction or maybe changes in the tax code because Democrats believe that all of those areas need change too. As long as they insist on tying this to de-funding Obamacare or ended Obamacare we are going to see the same result time after time, after time," said Sikkema.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:45 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The shutdown is over - but what happens next?

The U.S. Capitol.
U.S. Congress congress.gov

 Audio FileAn interview with David Shepardson the Washington reporter for the Detroit News.Edit | Remove

Last night, the U.S. House approved a Senate-backed plan to reopen the federal government, bringing an end to the 16-day partial government shutdown. The U.S. government is once again open for business — at least until mid-January.

Last night's vote ended the shutdown through January 15, and raised the debt ceiling till February 7 (and perhaps a month longer).

But that vote divided Michigan's Republican members of Congress.

Joining us from Washington, D.C. is David Shepardson, the Washington reporter for the Detroit News. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
11:41 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Michigan's congressional delegation divided on government shutdown/debt ceiling vote

Back in Business
primerates.com

Last night’s vote to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling divided Michigan’s Republican congress.

The legislation reopens the government through Jan. 15th and permits the U.S. Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7th or perhaps a month longer.
 

Congress faced a midnight deadline Thursday. That's when U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.

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Politics & Culture
5:12 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

When you grab a bottle of water at the grocery store, do you ever wonder where that water came from.

And do you really know the quality of that water? We found out if it's really better than what comes out of your tap.

And, as the use of meth makes headlines across the state, we talked to one woman about her recovery and what she's doing for other addicts.

And, we traveled to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinac City, one of only 10 designated sky parks in the entire world.

Also, musician Matt Jones talked about his newest work and overcoming a challenging year.

First on the show, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown. 

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th. 

Now though the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Stateside
5:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Debbie Stabenow on the government shutdown

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Photo courtesy of www.stabenow.senate.gov

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown.

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th.

Now that the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
1:50 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Government shutdown postpones construction at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI 12th District), with Youth Conservation Corps members at an event at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in 2011.
USFWSmidwest Flickr

Construction for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge’s new visitor center has been delayed, due to the ongoing partial federal government shutdown.

As the Associated Press’s David Runk reported, construction for the refuge’s 12,000 square foot center was slated to begin Wednesday, but the temporary hold on federal funds postponed the project.

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Politics & Government
9:35 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Shutdown might lead to state worker layoffs

The shutdown could affect Michigan's government.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

With the federal shutdown in its third week, the state is taking its first step toward laying off thousands of public employees.

Michigan budget officials are asking state departments to determine which programs need to be shut down if federal funding isn’t restored before November.
 
“We really didn’t think we would be at this point,” said Kurt Weiss, a spokesperson for the state budget office. “And neither did the rest of the states. They’re all in the same boat we are, across the country, which is putting together contingency plans to start shutting programs down – which is certainly not something that I would call commonplace.”

Weiss estimates 15,000 to 20,000 state workers would probably be affected.

“We do anticipate a pretty widespread impact across all state agencies that are going to have some employees that are either partially or fully federally funded,” said Weiss. “So these contingency plans are going to tell us which of those folks need to stay home come November 1st.”

Weiss says programs and workers that help Michigan’s poorest residents receive a disproportionate amount of federal dollars. He says agencies such as the state Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be hardest hit if the shutdown lasts much longer.

Stateside
5:12 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Sander Levin on the government shutdown

Congressman Sander Levin
http://www.house.gov/levin/

Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending, on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown.

In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt.

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the latest in the impasse.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:09 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Stateside for Monday, October 14th, 2013

Canada is dumping its garbage in Michigan. We took a look at why it's so cheap to haul trash over the border and the political reasons making it hard to stop.

And, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater. Did you know Michigan once had more than 100 drive-ins? Today just a hand full are still in operation.

Also, Amtrak is making some improvements. We spoke with Tim Hoeffner of the Michigan Department of Transportation about what Michigan train passengers can expect.

And, Michael Stern from Roadfood.com, and frequent guest on The Splendid Table, stopped by to tell us about his recent trip to the Upper Peninsula and the culinary marvels he found up there.

But, first on the show, Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown. In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt. Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the impasse.

Opinion
9:34 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Staring at default

Lessenberry commentary for 10/14/13

Many years ago, when I studied economics, I learned that every so often, Congress has to authorize an increase in how much money the nation could borrow, meaning the national debt.

One student asked what would happen if Congress didn’t authorize a debt increase. “Something that would make the Great Depression look like a picnic,” the professor said.

He explained that the world financial system was built on the soundness of the American dollar, and the global belief that our debts, like U.S. savings bonds and the $20 bill, were backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States of America. He also told us that the odds of this nation ever defaulting were less than a nuclear war.

Well, that professor is dead and the Cold War long over. But for the first time, there seems a real possibility that we could, at least temporarily, go into default. We aren’t talking about Detroit here, but the United States of America.

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Economy
6:05 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Technical problems stop Michigan food stamp purchases

Credit User mytvdinner / Flickr

Michigan residents in a federal food program are being denied purchases with their debit-style cards because of technical problems.

Dave Akerly, a spokesman for the state Department of Human Services, says it's a problem Saturday between retailers and Xerox, the company that provides high-tech services. The glitch extends beyond Michigan to at least 16 other states.

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Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Michigan food assistance programs hearing from worried clients

In just one county, 5,000 families get federal help buying healthy food for their kids
user mytvdinner Flickr

The federal shutdown is hitting struggling Michigan families where they live.

At first, panicked calls flooded into Washtenaw County health services, says Karen Lewis.

She helps run the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC), which help low-income moms get milk, bread, vegetables and fruit for their kids.

Every month, the county serves some 5,000 families who look to WIC, says Lewis.

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Health
12:23 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Michigan cases linked to national salmonella outbreak

Foster Farms website

Michigan is among 18 states affected by an outbreak of salmonella.

Two of the nearly 300 confirmed cases of salmonella are in Michigan.

The outbreak has been traced to a California chicken producer, Foster Farms.

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Newsmaker Interview
5:19 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown slows U.S. Attorney's work in Michigan

Barbara McQuade is the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

A partial shutdown of the federal government shutdown is now in day eight. There doesn’t appear to be a resolution in sight which leaves over 800,000 federal employees out of work. That includes people at the U.S. Attorney General’s office in Detroit. Today we talk with Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Thirty out of almost 200 people are furloughed at her office. 

"That's having an impact on the litigation mission of our office. Most of our criminal litigators are still here handling criminal cases, but it's our civil docket that's really taking a hit," said McQuade.

"Our people are working without pay, which is having a big impact, as you can image, on morale. The people that are furloughed are not being paid, but even the people who are here working are not being paid."

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:18 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

How is the shutdown affecting Michigan's medical research?

Dr. Ora Pescovitz, CEO of the University of Michigan Health System.
University of Michigan Health System University of Michigan

An interview with Ora Pescovitz.

As we get into the second week of the partial government shutdown, and with the debt ceiling debate looming ever closer, more voices are being raised in warning and concern over how the shutdown is impacting our daily lives.

One of those voices is that of Dr. Ora Pescovitz.  Pescovitz is the CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, and the executive Vice President for Medical Affairs.

How is the shutdown affecting medical research at the University of Michigan? Is life-saving research falling victim to the debate down in Washington, D.C.?

Pescovitz talked to us about the shutdown’s damage to research.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:12 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Ignoring shutdown, visitors pushing through Michigan's closed national parks

Pictured Rocks National Park
user Rhonda Noren Flickr

An interview with John Pepin

One of the memorable images from the first week of the government shutdown was the World War II veterans, who pushed their way into the closed-down National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Now, those images are being repeated in Michigan.

The federal shutdown has hit parks, refuges, visitor centers, campgrounds and most park roads.

But don't think for a moment that dysfunction and stalemate in Washington is going to keep folks from enjoying the peak of fall colors in the Upper Peninsula.

John Pepin, a writer for Marquette’s Mining Journal joins us to discuss Michigan parks affected by the shutdown, and those who won’t let a shutdown stop them from seeing the state’s natural side. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Government
1:05 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Report: Michigan not hurting from government shutdown as much as other states

There’s a new report that may help explain why Michigan isn’t feeling as big an impact from the federal government shutdown as other states.

Michigan ranks 41st on a new survey of how the shutdown affects the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The survey is by WalletHub.com. John Kiernan is a senior analyst at WalletHub.

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