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Thursday, March 23, 2017

They’re baaaaack.

As of Tuesday Congress is back in session, and what’s on the docket? Well, Iran’s nuclear capabilities. And of course, abortion.

But what’s really worrisome is the fact that over the next three weeks, Congress has to decide whether to fund the government. Again.

Of course it isn’t as straightforward as a simple vote to pay government workers. An approved federal budget rests on a assemblage of bills, add-ons, and addendums — and so a whole host of other issues get caught in the balance.

Like giving federal money to Planned Parenthood.

Congress will need to approve the federal budget by Oct. 1, and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to shut down the government if federal money continues to flow Planned Parenthood’s way.

The organization rose to the forefront of many conservative lawmakers’ minds after an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), released a set of videos earlier this summer purporting to show that certain Planned Parenthood clinics were selling fetal tissue for profit, which they say was against the law. Despite continued state and federal investigations proving that this is not the case, several members of Congress called for the organization to be stripped of all federal funding, even though the federal money that Planned Parenthood receives does not, by law, go to abortion services.

Activists have not been sitting idle in this debate. The Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee helping anti-choice women get elected to Congress, sponsored a showing of several of the CMP videos on Capitol Hill, which was interrupted by two Democratic staffers asking if unedited versions of the videos would be shown. They left the room when their question went unanswered.

Four House committees, including the House Judiciary Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood. The Judiciary Committee will begin its hearings Wednesday.

Before Congress’ summer recess, there was a Senate vote to defund the organization, which came hastily on the heels of the release of the first four videos. (There are now nine.) As expected, the resolution failed, 53-46.

Twenty-eight House Republicans from 18 states have indicated they will oppose any legislation that includes funding for Planned Parenthood. Yet House Speaker John Boehner has expressed that he wants to avoid a government shutdown over the issue.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Florida has circulated a letter looking for signatures, asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to stop any bill that ties federal money to Planned Parenthood, even if it means that the government must shut down.

McConnell, for his part, has said that he is eager to avoid a shutdown, and has said that putting the funding on “a must-pass appropriations bill” is unpalatable.

Not enough Republicans have agreed that this is worthy of shutting down the government; the votes to defund utterly just aren’t there. President Obama, too, has said he will veto any legislation that strips Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

Despite some Republicans’ vocal fervor, most Americans (predictably) want to avoid a government shutdown. While abortion remains divisive in America, polls suggest that Planned Parenthood still has high favorability ratings, while Congress doesn’t — and a shutdown would only make things worse.

When the government shut down in 2013 over Republicans’ dislike of Obama’s health plan, an overwhelming majority of voters — 72 percent — opposed it, and Congress’ approval ratings plummeted to an 85 percent disapproval rate, with the GOP also hitting high unfavorability marks, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll from October 2013.

Photo: Hearings will start soon by the Jucidiary Committee on its investigation of Planned Parenthood. AFP/Jewel Samad

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo

66 Responses to Congress Readies To Shut Down Government Over Planned Parenthood Funding

  1. When will Republicans wake up to the fact that defunding an organization that talks almost 250,000 women a year into not have an abortion, will in fact, increase abortions not reduce them. And not only that, it may just simply increase the number of people in America dying, because of all the low-income Americans, both men and women, who depend on PP for a lot of their healthcare services (remember, abortions are only 3% of what PP does). Without the exams PP gives to many men and women, fatal illnesses that PP detects in time for the person to be cured, may well not be detected, and thus, more people will die prematurely. All because of the party of Premature Death (aka the GOP)..

    • But you’ve forgotten, Repubs have no respect for women, except in their fantasies, and even less for the poor whether male or female, young or old. (Not that the Dems are significantly better as a group.)

      • What? The Dems aren’t significantly better towards females and the poor than the GOP??? What??

        So pushing to create and maintain Social Security for all workers and fighting to keep the GOP from destroying it the past 80 years isn’t significantly better?

        Pushing for and creating Medicare and like SS fighting to keep the GOP from destroying it the past 50 years isn’t significantly better?

        Pushing for and creating Obamacare so lower income people could find affordable insurance and women could get the added healthcare and birth control they need and fighting the GOP to keep from destroying all that isn’t significantly better?

        Supporting unions that work to provide a living wage to especially lower-income workers while trying to prevent Republicans from destroying them, isn’t significantly better??

        Fighting to counter the GOP’s efforts to implement legislation that allows states to implement laws like the-right-to-pay-you-less laws and to instead enact laws that raise the min wage, isn’t significantly better?

        And I could go on. Maybe you can explain to us what planet you’ve been living on the past 80 years.

        • Well in terms of talk yes the Dems do talk a better game but
          in action they mostly serve the same banksters, corporate criminals and billionaires as the repubs. Granted the Dems do have a few who serve the people instead of the money but they are too few to make much of a difference. I haven’t
          made up my mind yet on Sanders though I’m hopeful he may offer a real choice. His worst enemy will be his own partyClinton is no better than the repubs though I’ll
          grant she is smarter than most of them. They are slightly better on social issues and that is something but on the economy, imperialism in foreign affairs, treatment of whistleblowers etc. they are no better. Lately they have shown some interest in environmental issues but only a very few have really put themselves on the line to resist big energy.

          Yes the Dems are little kinder to the poor but they do it on
          the back of the middle class. They don’t have the courage to demand that the 1% and the corporations pay their share. Sure Omanacare was a boon to some but a burden to many others with the primary beneficiaries being pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

          What has the present administration or the previous one done
          for unions? They are virtually disappearing.

          You mention 50 and 80 years ago and I agree there once was a significant difference and they accomplished some good things but since at least Clinton finished pushing through NAFTA the difference has withered away. Now Obama wants an even worse deal with TPP. Since citizens united they all are just chasing the bucks.

          • Unfortunately, Democrats can’t just snap their fingers and a bill will pass. There are many Senators like Gillibrand, Boxer, Franken, etc that work tirelessly trying to make improvements for our country. Unfortunately there are Republicans on the other side that are trying to block everything that doesn’t help their donors and the 1%.
            You suffer from a huge lack of information. Have you signed up to a bunch of congress people to get their newsletters and what to watch out for on C-Span and what bills are in the works? I have. I know what is happening for the most part on Capitol Hill and am sickened sometimes over the callousness and greed that Republicans suffer from.

          • I think you suffer from a huge surplus of propaganda.
            Gillibrand is my senator so I do receive her newsletters. She is better than most and I do vote for her but the only one I see willing to take the heat for her efforts is Elizabeth Warren. I admittedly am not aware of the efforts of every congressperson but the dem leadership is scarcely better than the repubs.
            Are you going to assert with a straight face that HC is any different than the repubs in her fealty to imperialism and the 1%?

            I do agree with your comments regarding the repubs.

          • You are a very delusional misguided person, so I’m only going to respond to one of your totally ridiculous comments.

            “Sure Omanacare was a boon to some but a burden to many others with the primary beneficiaries being pharmaceutical and insurance companies.”

            You are so short sighted that it’s hard to imagine: Not only is ACA not a burden to anyone – as it over the past 6 years kept premium increases substantially lower than previously (saving Americans hundreds/thousands a year) ACA has also allowed millions of Americas to purchase health insurance that previously couldn’t because it was either unaffordable or they had a pre-existing condition so insurers would deny them coverage. Well over 100,000 Americans are alive today, only because of hospitgal care improvements that ACA forced hospitals to make. And thousands more are alive, because they now have health insurance and thousands have been cured because fatal illnesses were discovered in time to cure them rather than them dying.

            In addition, hospitals across the country had saved over 6 billion dollars in 2014 alone, because of the reduced number of people who needed health care and couldn’t pay for it. This has resulted in states (read that taxpayers) saving billions also due to the dramatically reduced subsidies the states had to pay to hospitals to keep them afloat.

            Just in the state of Arizona, a red state that expanded Medicaid, Arizona State university estimated that in 2014 to 2016, expanding Medicaid under ACA would end up creating 15,000 jobs; adding over 1.8 billion to the Arizona economy because ACA had freed up money that its residence had been saving to cover healthcare costs which were now
            covered by insurance. And the Arizona treasury should see an increase in tax revenues of about 2.8 Billion dollars for 2015/16.

          • It’s interesting that you chose the one topic that I did
            agree has some merit though not nearly what you think it does. Look on the net and you can find a lot of pro and con with fact check indicating that neither side is being completely honest, no surprise since these are politicians. You said “over the past 6 years kept premium increases substantially lower”. That is true though some economists believe that has been due to the state of economy rather than effects of the ACA. It certainly is debatable. Hospital profit is up but I don’t see anyone claiming that patient costs have gone down any. Single payer would have been far superior and yes I know the repubs would have been their usual obstructionist selves but Obama never seriously tried that route.

            Are you going to assert with a straight face that HC is any
            different than the repubs in her fealty to imperialism and the 1%? If so then you have no basis to refer to anyone else’s opinions as delusional.

          • You are clearly very short-sighted and delusional. If you can’t see that Republicans will get America involved in wars simply to feed the defense industry while Democrats have for the most part gotten us into a war with only direct provocation (Japan) or at the request of allies(Germany); and certainly never started a war without figuring out how to pay for it by raising taxes even on the wealthy (like Bush II who ran up 3T in debts by not raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for the Afghan or Iraq wars).

            And if you can’t see the difference in the fact that the GOP has a pledge every legislator must sign about not raising taxes by $1 on the wealthy (especially t he 1% ) – while Obama has been working to raise taxes on them)- then you also have to clearly be blind!! And I’m not trying to suggest that Hillary wouldn’t retaliate on Iran if they broke the Iran Deal, BUT I’M 100% CONFIDENT, that if she got us into a war it would because Iran broke their promise, and not simply because of a GOP president simply finding any way he or she can to shuttle billions of dollars into the pockets of defense industry related companies on some flimsy exucse – And on top of that, Hillary would figure out how to pay for such a war by raising taxes on the wealthy, whereas with Republicans, like Bush, they’d jump in and just let the deficits add up so the 1% could get away with paying as little as possible if anything.)

            And with respect to Obamacare, economists, like many presidential scholars clearly make comments, projections and assessments on topics they know nothing about. Fact is, that all things equal, insurance premiums (health and life) should go up sharply during a recession, because the people that are most likely to drop their policies are the healthy people. People who don’t really feel a strong need for the insurance, because they feel healthy enough to take on the risk; they stop paying their premiums.

            What health and life insurers are left with then, are mostly the less healthy people who are the most likely to get sick and run up healthcare expenses, or even die and result in a life claim. (I worked for 30 years for what was at one time, America’s largest multi-line insurance company, and is still a major player in health insurance).

            So had the improvements to hospital care required by ACA, not dramatically reduced the readamissions rates, saving hospitals and insurers alike billions of dollars (it’s projected that over 100,000 people are alive today primarily because of the dramatic declining in hospital readmissions rates); which countered the increased risks insurers were seeing because of anti-selection (mostly sicker people keeping paying their healthcare premiums), you can be assured that health insurance premiums would have continued climbing even at a steeper rate – ESPECIALLY DURING AND AFTER A RECESSION, when people’s money was tight and they had to give up payments they didn’t feel they really needed.

          • I imagine everyone who disagrees with you is “shortsighted
            and delusional”. Yes it was Bush/Cheney’s lies that got us into Iraq but have you forgotten that nearly all the democrats voted for it, including your hero Hilary.

            Talk about delusional, anyone who is “100% CONFIDENT” that any politician would always do what’s right is clearly deluded.

            Excuse me, okay I’ve stopped rolling on the floor laughing
            over “Hillary would figure out how to pay for such a war by raising taxes on the wealthy”. What in her history leads you to that conclusion?

            Of course economists “make comments, projections and
            assessments on topics they know nothing about” and economics is not a pure science. Of course you only pontificate on subjects you have expertise on, right? Or in other words, other “experts” are unreliable whereas you speak only the “real truth”.

            Your opinions are full of woulds, coulds and shoulds and
            short on verifiable evidence. Fine, their your opinions and that’s all any of us are really putting forth here but you seem to think that only yours are worthy of consideration. BTW you should drop the moniker “Independent”. You are obviously a straight party line Democrat.

          • Actually, you’re shortsighted and delusional because you’ve clearly never done any research about what you’re talking about and therefore, you have simply chosen to throw all politicians into one barrel where you’ve made wild abstract judgements; when clearly they’re have been over the past 100 years significant differences between the two parties. (And just for the record, I’ve lived through 13 presidents and can remember hearing all 13 of them give speeches – including FDR. And over the years I’ve voted for 3 Republicans I am as much an Independent as Bernie Sanders or Angus King who is my states Independent Senator and who was it’s independent governor when I first moved to the state of Maine.)

            Let me just give you a few facts that were published by Faux News:

            Since 1900, the average GDP growth of America accomplished during Republican presidencies has been a paltry 2.6% – while in contrast, under Democrats, it’s been a much better 4.3%/year growth. And since 1929, the overall return in the stock market under 42 years of Republicans has been actually negative LESS THAN ZERO; while under the 43 years Democrats were in office, the market return has been over 300%; such that if you have made any profits in the market those profits were realized under Democrats.

            And if you’ll look at the ability of each party to create jobs, you’ll find that Democrats create 100% more jobs than Republicans. Starting with Carter – he, Clinton and

          • Well bud if we were voting for candidates from 50-100 years
            ago I’d have to concede the argument. Unfortunately we’re stuck with the group of lairs, hypocrites, whores and fools that we have now with plenty on each on both sides of the aisle. I’ll also concede that the very few good ones tend to
            be on the democratic or Independent side. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers come to mind. Full disclosure: I’m a registered Independent who, like you, has voted primarily for Democrats at the state and national level over the past 40+ years of my voting life. However I am no longer content to choose the lesser of two evils which would be the only reason I could ever even consider voting for Clinton.

            Considering Clinton, let’s see. She supported the misguided
            Patriot Act and wars in the Middle East. She supports the drone program which has created far more terrorists than it has eliminated. Clinton pushed for the TPP at least 45 times during her tenure as secretary of state, and leaked diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks show that her deputies discussed the trade deal with foreign heads of state.

            She now claims to support campaign finance reform but for
            the past 16 years Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase have been four of her top five all-time contributors. Priorities USA Action, the primary super PAC backing her, raised $15.6 million in the first half of 2015
            from just 33 donors. The Priorities PAC indicated in August that it had guaranteed $20.5 million in commitments since that filing. So much for integrity.

            I could go on but I have the feeling that it is pointless. If
            you choose to respond please leave out references to the Democratic politicians of days of yore and stick with those still alive and functioning. Or maybe we should go back 150 years to when the republican party freed the slaves.

    • Probably the same day Republicans wake up…something that happens every day accounting for the constant disintegration of the (not so) Grand Old Party as more and more people decline to be associated with the party and change their registration from “Republican” to “Anything but Republican.”

    • Idependent… Once Made Illegal Again… and Impossible to have a doctor do it !!!, Backrooms will appear again… You Will Still Sin, But, The Sin, Will be Yours and Yous ALONE !!! Along with Murdering an innocent child… One will also, run the risk of Death in Sin…. Except, By De-funding This Unnatural, Abomination ‘ We The People ‘ Say No More !!! Acceptance of This Sin of an Innocent’s Murder WILL BE OUTLAWED !!! THAT WHICH WE DO, WE ARE DRIVEN BY CONSCIENCE AND COMPELLED BY GOD TO DO !!!!

      • Although I don’t support abortion, I also don’t support you hypocritical terrorists thrusting your misguided power over a woman’s right to control what happens within her own body. God never gave you or anyone else on this earth, including the Pope, the right to be His vigilante.

        Where are you getting this: “THAT WHICH WE DO, WE ARE DRIVEN BY CONSCIENCE AND COMPELLED BY GOD TO DO !!!!” Total nonsense??

        The only commandment Jesus gave his Apostles was to preach the Gospel. And if people chose not to listen, to simply brush of the dust and leave, and it would be worse for those people than if they’d never been born. Jesus at no time said anything to his Apostles about getting involved with governments or working as vigilantes to ensure that people breaking God’s commands are punished!!! God has always maintained that He will be the ultimate judge.

        And at no time, did even Jesus judge anyone outright; even when they were brought to him having been caught in outright sin. In once instance, he simply said to those there, that whomever was without sin, could cast the 1st stone. And clearly none there could admit themselves in good conscience to being without sin, so all the accusers turned and left.

        Where do you see any verses in the Bible WHICH GIVE YOU the right to enforce your will on anyone else??? Especially with regard to what they can and cannot do within their own body?? Although I personally do not condone abortion, IT IS CLEARLY NOT MY PLACE to force a woman to carry A FETUS to full term.

        Are you prepare to fork over more than $250,000 for each abortion? That’s what experts claim today it costs to raise a child to 18 years old. And who gave you the right to question whether a woman is in the physical health to carry a fetus to term; or financially able to do so; or given other circumstances within her life, able to do so??? What a woman decides to do with a fetus, which at the time the majority of abortions occur, is nothing more than akin to a tumor; the fetuses brain has not begun developing, in fact even at birth a babies brain is barely developed – it does so over the years as it grows.

        So for you terrorists to claim that abortion is akin to murdering a living human, is absolute nonsense. Are you willing to call God a murder for the fact that nature itself, aborts more than 700,000 fetuses a year in the process called miscarriage?? I don’t think so. So where do you get off spewing your terrorist rhetoric????

        • Do,t Tell Me About Our Lord Jesus Christ, or the Bible Hypocrite… You Don’t know Him, or his Words …. You were made from man, Woman… Forget That Not…. To have abort a child You also, gave tour body to a man and took his Seed in you !!!

        • Also, A true Miscarriage, means, The Death was not due to Human Choice, Whereas ABORTION IS !!! WOW, ARE YOU LOST !!!! You have Really Elevated MANKIND to assume God’s role !!! ONLY SATAN AND ONE OF HIS MINION WOULD CLAIM ABSOLUTION. YOU CALL GOOD EVIL,… AND EVIL GOOD !!! BY PUTTING THIS IN PRINT… YOU WANT TO MISLEAD OTHERS

          • You’re the one who is misleading people. Nothing! Nothing in the Bible gives you the right to impose your misguided religious beliefs on anyone else.

          • @ independent- you are right god gives everyone a free will to choose his path, one leads to eternal life an happiness with saved loved ones an the other leads to eternal death in the outer darkness. where all the people who rejected Christs sacrifice on the cross. which erases our sin , which is not allowed in heaven

        • Tat was Not His Mission Then…. Tat is reserved for his Second Coming… which is Fast approaching. The First Part of the Mission Was To Tell us The Truth,Live The Truth, Establish His Church, Suffer, Die and Rise within 3 Days. The Second Coming is Awaited when He Will Judge, The Living and Dead, Everyone !!! Be Prepared… If You Deny Me On Eart, I Will Deny You To Heaven and Eternal Life !!!

    • You may be on to something here Otto. Let’s also defund all our military adventures. Wealthy neocons can make up the funding with private donations.

        • Why should wealthy liberals pay for the poor choices of our elective officials? If wealthy liberals could do it so should the Koch brothers – if they want to defund Planned Parenthood then they should pony up to build and staff thousands of clinics across American to provide preventive care (like cancer screenings) to low income Americans. Oh I am sorry I forgot – the GOP does not care about anyone after they come out of the womb.

          • I refuse to attempt a war of wits with someone who, while armed, is shooting blanks; it violates my military and religious training. That, and I do not have the time to waste on nonsense people.

    • That wouldn’t solve the situation where defunding PP would increase abortions each year and the deaths of hundreds or thousands of other men and women ;because abortions are only 3% of PP’s support for millions of low income Americans and PP talks almost 250,000 women a year from having an abortion.

  2. The good news is that the GOP has approval ratings in the mid teens, so this won’t hurt their approval ratings much and the people who are most likely to be helped by Planned Parenthood won’t be voting for a Republican anyway. The bad news is that we may once again be forced to pay billions for another pointless GOP political stunt.

    • Unfortunately, Bob, many of the same women who rely on Planned Parenthood’s medical services for their other health issues live in states where they are led to believe that the Federal Government is evil, National Health Care is evil and only Republicans can save them from themselves. Therefore they, like millions of other people making below $100,000 per year, will vote against their self-interest and support Republican candidates.

  3. Apparently you can’t fix stupid. They are putting into gear bills to defund Title X and to cut further programs designed to slow down, or stop unwanted pregnancies. If you really want to stop abortion why would any sane person want to cut programs that do exactly that? The level of insanity running amok by our congressional leadership is truly astoundingly inane.

    • That’s because they still “believe” (i.e. they pay no attention to evidence proving the exact opposite) that “abstinence only” methods are the most effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies.

      • FireBaron, you are lying once again! Sorry, but there is no other way to put it.

        Abstinence-only methods in education are absolutely NOT the most effective method of preventing unwanted pregnancies, especially in teenagers! And there are many studies to support that.

        I have taught Health Education on the middle school and high school level for forty years. We were required to do much research in this area to give us direction for developing curriculum.

        Please do not post non-factual material.

      • FireBaron, I just re-read your post, and I apologize! I totally misread your post.

        Please accept my humble apology.

        the egregious error is below (I tried to delete it, but couldn’t).

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  5. Doesn’t make any difference anyway. The Republicans are never punished at the voting booth for their lack of intelligence, morals or good governance so this is just another non-issue. Shutting down the government didn’t hurt them in the last election and won’t in the next. We’re all screwed and the country be damned.


    • If they shut down the government this time they won’t be able to blame Democrats like they did before. It’s all on them. I believe this will hurt them badly. Apparently so do a few of them.
      So, go ahead Republicans, shut down the government. See where it gets you .

  6. Okay guys, and gals, it’s budget time, and we know what that means!? That’s right, it’s shut ‘er down time again! Over what, is the question we’re here to decide today. Yes, there in the back, T-Party. The debt limit! Let’s do that again. Only this time really tank the economy. And blame it on Obama, and that terrorist he pals around with, Ben Ghazi! Okay, we’ll consider that while you have another high ball .Who’s next? Think now. What other nut job…er.. I mean loyal constituency have we not yet intentionally run the Federal Government to ground over their strongly held beliefs? You got it. Planned Parenthood, it is then! Meeting adjourned!

    • Nobody is selling fresh body parts. That PP video was just one more RWNJ fabrication!! About the only thing Republicans know how to do these days is create LIES!!!

  7. Because, It Does NOT DO , That, Which you say Lynda… Don’t Surround Yourself With That Smoke screen of Lies, For Yourself and Everyone Else, You Wish to Influence !!! Be Natural. With Natural Order and NEVER Again Try to Influence Others About, Death of The Innocent for your Convenience !!!!

      • That Ill-Fated comeback, like all of your trash you’ve posted, Again took you all Day !!! You, Just Proved, yet again, Everything you posted IS NOT OF GOD !!!…. Spoken like the True Antichrist you are independent1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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