Senate passes legislation to avert a shutdown, House expected to act later today

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Congress set to keep government open and move on to budget fight.

TheBlaze TV’s Amy Holmes appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday, saying that, even though she’s pro-choice, she found the controversial series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos “appalling.” “I have watched the unedited portions of these videos, and I’m pro-choice,” Holmes said. “And I’ve made no secret of that. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said during Tuesday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing that she’s “never heard” of a circumstance at her organization in which a child has survived a botched abortion attempt.A temporary funding measure that would keep the government open past a midnight deadline easily sailed through the Senate on Wednesday and was expected to make its way shortly through a divided House and on to President Barack Obama.Give the Republican majority in Congress credit for abandoning its threat to shut down the federal government in a futile effort to stop funding for Planned Parenthood.Two sides of a debate, though only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortion-related, and none of its federal funding can be used as such (Don Shrubshell/AP Photo) Congressional Republicans are pondering a shutdown of the government over the funding of Planned Parenthood, because through their opaque political prism, they only see the health care provider as a full-time abortion mill that sells fetal parts to the highest bidder.

That approach, favored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, has angered tea party lawmakers who wanted to use the must-pass measure to punish Planned Parenthood for its practices involving the supply of tissue from aborted fetuses for scientific research. Instead, Republicans now aim to attack Planned Parenthood though a powerful budgetary tool called reconciliation, which, unlike a spending bill, cannot be filibustered in the Senate.

The measure has already helped topple the top House GOP leader and exacerbated painful divisions between more pragmatic Republicans and a tea party wing that is increasingly dominant, especially in the rough-and-tumble House. None of that is true, but Planned Parenthood has been smeared in a video sting operation by an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress, which conveniently omits the importance of fetal tissue in medical research. Ron DeSantis asked her if a child should be “given nourishment and medical care” if he or she “survives an abortion attempt.” “I’ve never heard of such a circumstance happening,” she said, sparking brief silence in the room. “I can say at Planned Parenthood, I am aware of no instance … we don’t provide abortions after viability.” “I want to be responsible for Planned Parenthood and what we do there,” Richards said. “Certainly in that situation — which again has never occurred that I know of — a baby born … that baby should, as the mother should, get appropriate medical care from the physician.

Tea party anger directed at Boehner over the Planned Parenthood issue helped prod the Ohio Republican last week to announce he will resign at the end of October. This shift in tactics will be good for the country, avoiding the needless and economically damaging disruption that a second government shutdown in 24 months would have caused. This issue has always pitted right-to-life advocates against researchers who believe that the use of the tissue shows extraordinary promise in the treatment of juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and leukemia.

And would.” Abortion survivors have consistently spoken out against Planned Parenthood, with two of them appealing to Congress earlier this month to defund the group. The House was slated to approve the measure Wednesday afternoon, but GOP leaders need Democratic votes to balance out opposition from tea party supporters of “defunding” Planned Parenthood.

Currently, it is used to study connectivity in the brain at Yale; the pathogenesis of neonatal lupus at the NYU School of Medicine; the study of endocrine cell development at the Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center; vision restoration at Cal-Irvine; neurodevelopmental disorders at Stanford; and scores of other worthy projects that can be found at the National Institutes for Health website. We’re going to procure brain,’” O’Donnell said. “She takes the scissors and she makes a small incision … and goes, I would say to maybe a little bit through the mouth, and she was like, ‘OK, can you go the rest of the way?’”

Driven by a few dozen Republicans eager for a showdown, the House proposed a stopgap funding bill that would have cut Planned Parenthood off from federal dollars. Having dodged the immediate threat of a government shutdown, congressional Republican leaders are looking ahead to talks with President Barack Obama on a long-term budget pact. At issue are efforts to increase the operating budgets for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies still operating under automatic curbs that would effectively freeze their spending at current levels. The American people aren’t as gullible, and they understand how and why Planned Parenthood sends fetal tissue only to medical researchers, and that under federal law it can be reimbursed only for the cost of obtaining, transferring, and maintaining the tissue. Indeed, the imagery of a fetus in one video makes this a volatile subject, as a video of any surgical procedure involving a cadaver would be disturbing.

Many of the conservative GOP lawmakers who helped bring Boehner down want to preserve stringent “caps” on the spending bills Congress passes every year. But there have been two federal committees who examined the issue from a legal, ethical, and scientific standpoint, and both concluded that the research was not only medically invaluable, but ethically acceptable. The repeal will save money, they argue, by leading fewer poor Americans to sign up for subsidized health insurance — as if that should be anyone’s goal. The most recent was the Human Fetal Tissue Transplantation Research advisory committee, which convened at the NIH in December of 1988 on the order of President Reagan, who had placed a moratorium on its funding.

Just as bad, the reconciliation bill could cause health premiums to skyrocket by eliminating the parts of the 2010 law designed to hold down insurers’ costs but not the parts that raised them. The only real winners from a veto would be the American public, who would be spared the effects of a desperate attempt to score political points at their expense.

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