The government shutdown is now well into its second week, and although discussions between the President and the GOP have begun, the shutdown seems unlikely to end anytime soon. The political ramifications of the shutdown have been disastrous for the Republican Party. A recent NBC News poll found that over half of Americans blame the Republicans for the shutdown (as well they should), and approval ratings for the GOP and the Tea Party are at record lows.
Now, the Democrats are capitalizing on Republicans' self-inflicted damage with a new ad campaign. This week, the DNC rolled out a new campaign aimed at the Tea Party architects of the shutdown, focusing on Senator Ted Cruz. With a series of Google and Twitter ads and robocalls, the DNC is targeting Texas voters by highlighting how the shutdown has hurt Texans. Thanks to Ted Cruz's reckless actions, thousands of Texans have been harmed by the government shutdown, and now the DNC is holding him accountable.
Read what the DNC is saying about Ted Cruz after the jump.The DNC's robocalls launched on Tuesday, and they emphasize the shutdown's harmful economic effects:
I'm calling from the DNC…with a GOP Shutdown Alert.
Senator Ted Cruz was an architect of the GOP's government shutdown.
At the Johnson Space Center, the vast majority of employees have been furloughed or won't get paid until after Republicans open the government.
Cruz's shutdown is costing the economy as much as $10 billion a week and he's even willing to not pay our nation's bills, potentially triggering another recession.
The DNC couldn't have picked a better person to target than Senator Cruz. His actions have hurt Texans all over the state. As mentioned in the DNC call, Cruz's hometown of Houston has been hit especially hard. In Clear Lake, 3,100 of 3,200 NASA employees have been furloughed, leaving only 100 people to run Mission Control.
The effects of the shutdown spread far beyond Houston, though. At the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, canceled USDA food deliveries have caused the food bank to lose over 300,000 meals. Nearly one-fifth of Texans are food insecure, and the government shutdown means thousands of families will go hungry.
Even those who don't directly rely on government assistance have been affected by the shutdown. If Congress doesn't pass a new farm bill soon, USDA subsidies to farmers will stop. Dairy farmers in East Texas warn that if subsidies stop, the price of milk could skyrocket as high as $8 per gallon, which would hurt all Texas consumers.
In addition, 2,000 technicians with the Texas Military Forces have been furloughed, and the 22,000 guardsmen have seen their regular trainings canceled. This means that Texas will be at a severe disadvantage in the event of a natural disaster, as the Texas Military Forces' disaster response team won't be as prepared to handle it.
All of these harmful things have happened as a direct result of Ted Cruz's irresponsible actions that shut down the federal government. As the shutdown continues, Texans everywhere are beginning to realize that Ted Cruz doesn't speak for them. As Rice University political scientist Mark Jones explained, “This is reinforcing a growing consensus…that Ted Cruz is far more interested in national politics than he is in representing the interests of Texas. There's a growing concern this is going to adversely affect Texas.”
Senator Cruz's actions have already begun to adversely affect Texas. People are losing their livelihoods because of the shutdown, and it will only get worse as the shutdown continues. Moreover, Senator Cruz's refusal to support the Affordable Care Act doesn't speak for the 6.4 million Texans living without health insurance. The DNC's latest push is reminding Texans that Ted Cruz doesn't represent their interests. Let's hope Texans will listen.