Michael Ernest is correct when he says in his letter ("Democrats are to blame for the government shutdown," Oct. 15), that "It is a fact that House members have the right to make such spending decisions."
Similarly, the president of the United States and the U.S. Senate have a right to veto or vote against such spending decisions. They also have a right to veto or vote against every single spending bill brought by the House unless the House votes in specified ways. Just like the House has a right to prevent any bill to come up for a vote that does not contain a repeal of Obamacare.
Is all this constitutional? Sure. But as Justice Antonin Scalia says, "A lot of stuff that's stupid is not unconstitutional." Legislative extortion is stupid, even if it is not unconstitutional.
Steve Cohen, South Windsor, Conn.