The conflict between poll numbers and shutdown realities

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Howard Republican who represents much of our region, isn’t taking his salary during the partial federal government shutdown.

Neither are Pennsylvania Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey and a growing number of the state’s member of Congress.

That’s a start on the long road to living like the rest of America.

But they will get back pay once the shutdown ends, as will the rest of the federal workers idled by the partial shutdown, many of whom are working through the shutdown.

Despite the low popularity numbers of Congress in almost every survey, most Americans, when asked their impressions of their own House and Senate representatives, give them favorable marks.

And re-election trends indicate voters don’t think their representatives are the problem.

Actions during the current partial shutdown also don’t match up with a reputation for obstructionism that surveys paint the House with.

No less than 10 spending bills to fund 87 percent of the federal government operation have been passed by the House during this partial shutdown. The Senate has uniformly stonewalled all of them.

The House leaders have only asked for three things:

An honest effort to cut overall federal spending as opposed to raising the debt limit for a country already nearly $17 trillion in debt.

A delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a year to iron out the obvious computer enrollment bugs and improve the health care legislation, which constituents have told them they don’t like.

Honest negotiations by the Senate and President Obama on both those items.

So while we understand the distaste for this partial shutdown, an objective assessment of the situation should lead most Americans to an obvious conclusion over who really is causing the problem here.