Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Government shut-down looms: GOP "plan" to keep it open includes defunding Planned Parenthood and repeal of Obamacare

Nearly 3 in 4 Americans want Congress to pass an appropriations bill to keep government open and running. But remember this post? Congress does not care what the people think. Therefore Congress is willing to let religious zealots take down the country in order to defund Planned Parenthood. AZBlueMeanie has the gory details of the political fight on the Hill.

That’s right, Tea-Publicans are taking America hostage again and making the extortionate ransom demand that Congress deny women access to health care, or they will shut down the government. The GOP position is to Defund Planned Parenthood even if it didn’t break the law — like the extreme radical religious zealots they are.

AZBlueMeanie's link points to a report in The Hill.

Congressional Republicans say they are determined to shut Planned Parenthood down, regardless of whether it broke any laws.

In more than two months of investigations, members have yet to turn up evidence that Planned Parenthood acted illegally, the same conclusion reached by a half-dozen state investigations. The Department of Justice has so far declined to launch a formal probe.

Several Republicans acknowledged this week that they may never find proof of wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood — but said it doesn't matter.

[For example:] "The issue is not whether there’s been a crime committed or not," Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas.) told the same group at the hearing. "This issue is whether or not taxpayers should fund Planned Parenthood. That’s the issue before this committee."

But, as BlueMeanie notes, "this is the GOP's War on Women writ large" but the Tea Potty in the House has even more grandiose ambitions - including another shot at repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Here are snippets from the report.

[Majority Whip Steve] Scalise told CQ Roll Call Tuesday he is discussing with members the possibility of using budget reconciliation — a fast-track process that would allow Republicans to bypass the threat of a filibuster and force a bill through the Senate — to zero out federal dollars for Planned Parenthood.

And he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of putting Planned Parenthood defunding language in a must-pass continuing resolution — a strategy that many conservatives have argued is the only way to tie President Barack Obama’s hands.

He said defunding Planned Parenthood through reconciliation would not preclude that same bill from also repealing Obamacare.

"Obamacare repeal is still on the table and the primary objective of budget reconciliation," Scalise stressed. "The two can be combined if that’s the route we choose."

So while the Tea Potty fiddles, American burns. Let's hope those 3 in 4 who want the government funded will lay the blame where it belongs: on the GOP, a party united against health and women.

The federal government is set to shut down at the end of the month unless the GOP-controlled House and Senate can come to an agreement with the White House on a spending bill.

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