Budget bill played a game of ping pong on Capitol Hill this
past week as House Republicans fight the Senate over
passing a bill that includes funding for Obamacare.
By Bella McCarey
Latest update: The government has partially shutdown because of a disagreement between House GOP and Senate Democrats. Both sides are currently trying to find a compromise on a new temporary budget but the GOP is fearful that a new budget will still include the funding for Obamacare.
Previously reported: With two days left to meet a vital deadline, Senate Democrats voted 54-44 on Friday to pass a budget bill that prevents the government from temporarily shutting down, quickly sending it over to the House.
The looming government shutdown is supposed to occur midnight Monday, should Capitol Hill not come to an agreement by then. The shutdown includes government employees being laid off without pay, according to Government teacher Mr. Matthew Maris.
“Essential government agencies would operate as normal,” Mr. Maris said. “But things like national parks would close during the shutdown. This would be the first shutdown in 17 years.”
This Saturday, House Republicans chose to pass the bill with the exception of Obamacare, delaying it another year. A full floor vote took place that evening and into Sunday morning. The bill was passed by majority vote and was sent back to the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn’t approve of the provisions added to the bill, stating he wanted the GOP to “create a clean budget bill, without any Obamacare amendments, and presumably let it pass with a majority Democrat support.”
House Republicans are now planning their next move, the ultimate goal to pass a bill without actually passing the funds for Obamacare.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, was first presented to Congress by President Obama at a joint session in February of 2009.
Obamacare allows for Americans who don’t have either Medicare, Medicaid or are covered by other private insurance to be provided free healthcare.
“So the idea behind ObamaCare is that if everyone has it, hospitals/doctor offices will be able to lower their prices because they are no longer providing expensive surgeries to those that can never pay, then health insurance costs will go down in effect as well,” Government teacher Mr. Garrett Bull said in regards to how Obamacare works.
Mr. Bull continues, “This will then benefit those that are already paying for it...in theory! However, how do we require or provide health insurance to millions of Americans?”
The question of whether or not it really is free concerns many Republicans and even some Democrats. According to the Voter’s Market, over 2.6 trillion dollars will be collected in the next 10 years in the form of taxes that are associated with the reform.
Starting Tuesday, Americans will have the option of “buying” insurance exchanges provided by the government, giving people who are already covered the option to drop their current insurance. Anyone who isn’t insured by January 1, 2014 will be fined monthly.
House Speaker John Boehner said in a joint public statement on Saturday, “Later today, the House will vote on two amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution that will keep the government open and stop as much of the president’s healthcare law as possible."
The second amendment added to the bill was to guarantee military pay in the possible case of a shutdown if the Senate doesn’t vote on the bill by the deadline.
Boehner continues, "The American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare…The House has listened to the American people. Now it's time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well."
Mr. David Danner of the History Department commented Friday, “It all comes down to a division of party lines. Republicans see it as the right thing to do, but Democrats will see it as an abuse of power.”
Mr. Maris weighs in, “The shutdown is being used as leverage by the Republicans to try to get Democrats to delay and amend the Affordable Healthcare Act. It is all very calculated.”
The decision to pass a budget by midnight or continue to battle over Obamacare now rests with the House, with their vote possibly being the last before the deadline.
By Ian Adler
The rain is coming down. The sky is dull and dreary. The family embraces each other. However, there is something and someone missing. August 6 is a day that will stay with the Zerbe family for all of their lives, as they mourn their son Daniel at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
On August 6, 2011, Zerbe, a 2001 Red Lion graduate, lost his life along with 30 other Americans in a fatal helicopter crash in the Wardak province of Afghanistan. Zerbe was a member of the Air Force Pararescueman, an elite group of military personnel who specialize in extraction methods and first aid.
“He was the most selfless human being I’ve ever met,” John Smeltzer, Dan’s high school best friend, said. Zerbe’s death was traumatic to him as well. Zerbe was both a football player and a wrestler. Today, his memory lives on with his family, who visits his burial site at Arlington National Cemetery as much as they can.
They also assist with the “That Others May Live” foundation, which offers aid to Air Force Pararescueman and their families. According to the foundation’s website, their goal is to “provide critical support, scholarships, and immediate tragedy assistance for the families of United States Air Force Rescue Heroes who are killed or severely wounded in operational or training missions.”
“It’s something we know Dan would want us to do,” Dan’s father, Terry said. The family
stays local and appreciates all of the support from Red Lion, but every year, more and more local and national support seems to find its way to the Zerbe’s doorstep.
By Phoenix Ashman
The Red Lion Area High School brings a new schedule to the 2013-2014 school year. However, not all students think changing the schedule again is a good idea.
Senior Lindzy Bixler said, “I think that we should just keep it how it was our freshman and sophomore year because everything worked fine. Why change it? If I need help with a class or make up a test, I can only do it during a study hall which, in most of the times, [the teachers] have a class anyways so I can’t really get help like I need.”
This year’s schedule has no morning homeroom. Instead of reporting to homeroom every morning, it is straight to first period for morning announcements and attendance. There may not be homeroom in the morning, but the assigned homeroom is where students are to report to when the schedule calls for an activity period.
Activity periods will be designated for PRIDE days and club days.
The new schedule also brings a flex period.
At the end of every week, fourth period teachers have gotten about five hours to teach, while other classes don’t have nearly as much time. Flex periods are extra periods for the other classes to get more learning in. The bell schedule names have been changed to Flex 1, Flex 2, Flex 3, Flex 5, Flex 6, and Flex 7. Each bell schedule number corresponds with the period that will receive extra class time.
“The schedule was changed for two reasons. One reason is because of the difference in time for the class periods,” assisstant principal Grant Gouker said. “While fourth period had lots of time for class, other periods were suffering.
The second reason for the schedule change is that the time we implemented for lit block to increase test scores wasn’t helping with the time.”
When asked what he thought of the new schedule, sophomore Tyler Dettinger said, “It’s stupid and it takes too long.” Dettinger prefers last year’s schedule saying, “It’s easier to follow.”
Some students, like Tyler Dettinger, do not care for the new schedule. But not all students share his opinion. Junior Misty Montgomery said, “I think it’s hard to adjust to but it’s probably best for us. It’ll probably help with grades.” When asked about last year’s schedule, Montgomery said, “This year is better. Last year was confusing. Once I get the hang of this year’s it’ll be better.”
By Nicole Thivierge
With the new school year looming, sports starting, and back to school sales popping up, this year sparks a lot of different goals in everyone.
“My goals for the upcoming school year are mostly academic, I plan to work very hard on my school work to make a great first impression on the colleges I’m looking at applying to,” senior Mason Zeplo said. “I am very excited for my senior year and I hope to make it a great year. I plan to work hard on my school work and I am also looking forward to working with Executive Council as the Treasurer to raise as much money as possible.”
“My goals are to continue to get good grades, help out the Class of 2015 Executive Council and play sports,” junior Dakota Boring said.
College admissions are just around the corner, and for many seniors, graduating and getting into college is a top priority on their to-do lists.
“My goals for this upcoming school year would have to be focusing on my academics so I can get into a good college for next fall. I plan on raising my GPA and taking challenging classes to make my transcript look more impressing,” senior Alyssa Castle said.
“This year my goals are to have the best grades that I can get and to be a good leader and role model as a senior in student council,” senior Reggie Smith said.
For others, sports are one of their main priorities.
“I would love to win counties and make it to districts this year! Beating Dallastown and proving everyone wrong, too,” senior soccer player Aubree Davis said. “[My academic goals] would be staying on track and getting accepted into my dream school PSU!”