Boehner tees up clean CR vote along with more abortion votes

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Decision ends Planned Parenthood doctor’ clinical privileges.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – The ability of a Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic to offer medication-induced abortions after November is in question after a University of Missouri Hospital’s governing committee decision. In an interview on last week’s Meet the Press JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called the coming threat of a government shutdown “just bad management.” The managers he was referring to were, of course, were the Republican leaders of Congress.

Shortly after Pope Francis’ address to Congress on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began the process through which the Republican-controlled legislature will ultimately fund Planned Parenthood along with the rest of the federal government.TO UNDERSTAND why some people are incapable of learning from their mistakes, neuroscientists in Albuquerque, New Mexico, scanned the brains of 96 convicts. Questions arose after the university announced Thursday night that the committee had decided to discontinue a type of limited clinical privilege effective Dec. 1. The chamber first voted on a short-term funding bill that stripped Planned Parenthood of federal funding, simply so McConnell could demonstrate that the votes weren’t there. In the wake of moves by the Senate’s top Republican to advance a stopgap spending bill free of the dispute over Planned Parenthood, House GOP leaders may be ready to plot the same course.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his leadership team have for some time been urging lawmakers to consider alternatives to using a must-pass government-wide funding bill as a means to carry the battle against Planned Parenthood to President Barack Obama. It would be interesting to carry out the experiment on the 40-odd Republican congressmen, members of the self-styled Freedom Caucus, who are aching for a fight with Barack Obama over the budget. They’ve met resistance from tea party Republicans and outside groups that advocated for the 2013 partial government shutdown over implementation of Obama’s health care law.

If they have their way, past fights suggest, the result will be a funding crisis leading, from October 1st, to the closure of all non-essential government departments, misery for millions, damage to the economy and a further loss of trust in America’s democratic institutions, starting with the congressmen’s own party. Ted Cruz and a band of House members are eager to draw a red line on allowing government funding to flow to the organization, in light of undercover videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood breaking the law by selling fetal tissue, Georgia’s Republican senators are not in that group.

The opportunity for recidivism arises because the House of Representatives has failed to pass a federal budget for the financial year beginning next month, as it often does. And there is no prospect of bundling the missing bills together; Republicans want to raise defence and cut welfare spending, Democrats want to increase both, and there is no time to reach a compromise. Isakson and Perdue both want to strip funding from Planned Parenthood, but they said making a stand over a shutdown is not the way to do it. “Shutting down the government as a reaction to that failure [of Thursday’s vote] in the scheme of things doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t make any difference. … It doesn’t do anything to stop funding Planned Parenthood. To keep the government open, Congress must pass a straightforward “continuing resolution” to extend the current funding arrangements for a month or two.

I mean, we actually voted on the first bill that had to do with protecting life in 12 years this week [a 20-week abortion ban, filibustered by Democrats]. “I’m going to continue to fight that. Planned Parenthood also points out that its government funding pays for cancer screenings, syphilis treatment and other non-controversial services; the abortions are funded separately. He brought her to my office to confront me directly. “What if you and Bill were planning on moving?” I asked her. “Bill, here, wants to move to the last frontier and live and work and hunt in Alaska. Or if he’s willing to suffer the wound to his pride, he could work to strike a deal with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats that would make him stronger than ever. And on Thursday, the White House issued a statement that Obama would veto it in any event, arguing that it “would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals.” The Senate’s vote, and the bipartisan measure that followed, cranks up the pressure on the GOP-controlled House.

The Freedom Caucus demands that John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, insert a caveat to that effect into the anticipated continuing resolution. “This is not about women’s health,” says Mick Mulvaney, a Republican congressman from South Carolina. “It’s about trafficking in pieces of dead children.” His outrage is sincere; yet what he and his fellows are demanding of Mr Boehner is so reckless and unrealistic, and so consistent with their record of attempting wild, hapless heists against both Mr Obama and the Republican leadership, that these protestations are nonetheless unimpressive. Typically the parties try not to fiddle with each other’s business, though: The majority elects its leader as speaker and the minority votes for its own top choice.

Most of the money going to Planned Parenthood comes from Medicare [a mandatory program unaffected by the shutdown] to start with. “So this is a false choice. Unfortunately we’re given a lot of those false choices, and we’re not talking and educating people back home enough about the dysfunction the Democrats are causing by blocking this whole [appropriations] process.” The real drama remains in the House, which is still working on whether to take up a clean bill, which appears the only way at this late hour to avoid an Oct. 1 shutdown. The videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the best way to abort the baby in order to harvest baby hearts and livers and kidneys and other body parts, and then further discussing the pricing of those body parts, illuminated the gruesome nature of our abortion policies. The move, which comes as conservatives are weighing whether to try to remove John Boehner as House speaker, was discussed at a closed GOP leadership meeting Thursday. Conservative hard-liners including Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, were summoned to Boehner’s suite but would not comment on his plans.

The government would then shut down, as it did in 2013, after the same group of Republicans demanded, as the price of their support for funding the government, that the then Democrat-led Senate ditch Obamacare, Mr Obama’s prize domestic achievement. It involves a legislative tactic called an “enrollment correction,” which essentially changes the text of a bill that has passed the House and the Senate. A GOP leadership aide, requiring anonymity to speak because of ongoing private discussions, said GOP leaders were considering immediately crafting a separate filibuster-proof budget measure.

It would put an end to the brinksmanship that’s dominated Boehner’s tenure over the last four years and wrest Republican power from its locus in the Tea Party-centric Freedom Caucus. It would permit Republicans to deliver to Obama a measure to take away almost $500 million a year in taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, most of which goes to provide health services to the poor via the Medicaid program. The ensuing shutdown lasted three weeks, cost an estimated $24 billion in lost output and most Americans blamed the Republicans; during the crisis they had the worst ratings of either party for over two decades. And though Boehner can’t be termed a moderate, Democrats would rather have him running the show than a more right-wing member who might want to give the whole Let the government default on its debt for fun! thing a shot.

That measure would need only 51 votes to pass the Senate and is likely to reach President Barack Obama’s desk, but he would almost certainly veto it. Democrats overwhelmingly support the protection of the unborn baby turtles, reminding us that a nation that puts people in jail and fines them for destroying the potential life of unborn turtles, and pays people for destroying the potential life of unborn babies, is a nation that has lost its way. Even a shutdown would not much inconvenience Planned Parenthood, which gets most of its government cash through agencies such as Medicaid, that would not be affected. Chris Van Hollen, a top Democrat, has thrown some cold water publicly on the idea. “My view is that the Republican caucus will have to make its own decisions,” he said late last week. As the Hill points out, Van Hollen’s circumstances are peculiar: He’s running against a more left-wing challenger for the Democratic Senate nomination in Maryland next year, so he doesn’t want to start hollering in public about how much he’d love to bail out Boehner.

In the bitterly polarised districts they represent—in a country where four-fifths of congressional districts offer no real prospect of a contest between the parties—voters are similarly convinced of these things, which is why there is in fact a deal of self-interest in the Freedom Caucus’s wrecking job. At the end of all the annoying, recurring funding showdowns, Democrats get their way: McConnell folds, Boehner folds, and the Democrats get their clean funding resolutions and debt ceiling hikes. Stan Collender, an expert on the budget process, considers the row “the most nakedly political threatened shutdown we’ve seen”, and puts the chance of one at 75% and rising.

The so-called “Freedom Caucus” threatens to decapitate their own leadership and shut down the federal government — all to eliminate reproductive freedom. The other option would be to ask the Democrats to make up the numbers for a continuing resolution and, more unusually, perhaps for the procedural vote, known as “the rule”, required to bring it to the floor.

Since there isn’t much agency involved in the internally unpopular choices any GOP speaker has to make, McCarthy would have to run the House much as Boehner has: by taking the least bad options available to him. That may be fine with House conservatives, too: They may just want to lop off someone’s head, and it would work well for them to have another “establishment” figure in charge to scapegoat for their natural lack of leverage.

Unless House Democrats can extract some extraordinary promises from Boehner for their votes—a push to increase the minimum wage, a significant lift in the sequester caps on discretionary spending—it’s more useful for Democrats to watch House Republican chaos run its course as outside observers.

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