By Christine Todd Whitman
October 17, 2013

We’ve had a reprieve. The government is open again and the United States will pay its bills – for now.

Even though political posturing took us to the brink of a true financial crisis, even though world powers were outlining the fiasco a default by the US would cause, even though the shutdown that lasted 16 days cost us billions of dollars and counting, even though Congress has received the worst ratings ever, still the political posturing continues. The Tea Party are recommitting themselves to the next round of battles, still feeling the shut down was a good thing and that a default wouldn’t be that bad.

We can hope that the bi-partisan committee appointed to work out a solution will be taken more seriously than the Simpson-Bowles proposal of last year. I have my doubts. What confirms my skepticism is a blog that was posted by the Republican staff members on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee. In a toss away piece they pointed out ten reasons to applaud the shutdown as it impacted EPA’s ability to do its job. While it’s easy to hate the Agency, making light of an entity the Congress itself established in order to protect human health and the environment speaks to a larger disregard for the responsibility to govern. I’m afraid these staffers just reflect the cavalier way their bosses also see their job and it doesn’t give me much hope for the future.