And it comes down as the clock ticks closer to a shutdown to several social policy riders introduced by House Republicans to a continuing resolution. The most controversial is to pull federal government funding from Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood receives about a third of its money in government grants and contracts. In fiscal year 2008 it amounted to $349.6 million. Pro-life groups have long contended that the federal government shouldn’t be providing any funding to Planned Parenthood. They say that despite the fact that Planned Parenthood is prohibited from allocating any federal money for abortions, the very act, according to Indiana Republican Mike Pence, of giving the organization funds “frees up” money for abortions.
Should this issue be part of this debate now? Isn’t it an act of provocation by some Republicans to push this rider at this juncture?
Agreed the wider debate about the size and responsibilities of the federal government needs to take place. There will have to be cutbacks – we all know that, even many people who favor an activist government realize that. But the social policy riders don’t help the Republicans with independents.
Of course, the Democrats could have avoided all of this if they had been more responsive to demands for bigger cuts with this retrospective budget. And even more to the point they have only themselves to blame by failing to pass budget last year when they controlled both the executive branch and both chambers of Congress.
Yea, great leadership from both sides.