Thursday, September 24, 2015

McSally: Don't shut down government

I am no fan of AZ CD2 Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally, but I have to give her a lot of credit for a clearly thought out and expressed position on the move to shut down the government over defunding Planned Parenthood. That carries costs, for example a huge split with Cathi Herrod. The Daily Star has the story this morning.

Parting ways with other congressional Republicans, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally said Wednesday Congress should not shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood.

McSally said a shutdown would not only hurt taxpayers but also end up costing a lot more money than keeping the government open. She cited a series of problems that resulted from the last shutdown in 2013.

But McSally, whose district includes Tucson, told Capitol Media Services the real irony is that even if the government does shutter Oct. 1, that won’t achieve the goal of some of her colleagues to defund Planned Parenthood.

McSally is correct on both counts. Moreover she scores another point on health care provided by Planned Parenthood.

McSally said even if funding for Planned Parenthood could be cut off, it’s money that cannot legally be used for abortions. And she said that has broader implications for her constituents.

"I want to make sure that men and women in my community get access to preventative health care, birth control and what they need in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies," she said. "We should not have low-income men and especially women caught in the crossfire as collateral damage, especially when none of this is even achievable."

The one point of disagreement I have with her remarks is her apparent acceptance of the legitimacy of the video that started this attack on Planned Parenthood. But even there she hedged.

McSally, who narrowly won office last year and likely faces a tough re-election bid, called the videos "nauseating and troubling." But she said there are ways to deal with what they show short of shutting down the government.

"If people have broken the law, they need to be held accountable," she said: federal law already criminalizes selling fetal organs for profit.

Officials from Planned Parenthood Arizona have said they neither harvest nor sell tissue from aborted fetuses. The national organization has said the videos were altered.

Like I said, I am not a McSally fan. But with respect to the shut-down and defunding PP, I admit she deserves credit for her position.

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