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.
So if the government shuts down the military won’t get paid but members of Congress will! There is apparently a constitutional reason for this: Section 6. Clause 1. “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.”
It is automatic.
Even so this can’t play well outside the Beltway – especially with the 800,000 government workers who won’t be paid. Nor with the military and their families for that matter.
What is also shocking is that the House Speaker John Boehner was unaware that members of Congress will continue to receive their pay.
On ABC’s Good Morning America” he said: “Members of Congress are elected by their constituents. If there is a government shutdown, not only will Congress not be paid, but federal employees will not be paid.” Later he had to correct himself, saying that members of Congress should not be paid.
One lawmaker said they could not afford not to be paid. California Democrat Linda Sanchez said she had financial obligations. Hmm, tell that to military families.
Neither side of the aisle come out of this confrontation well. What we are witnessing is a lack of leadership from both the Hill and the White House. Shouldn’t they be able to debate the debt and the deficit without shutting down the government and causing massive disruption for ordinary Americans? And all this hoopla over cutting a tiny amount from the budget? What a lot of posturing!
I am curious what the ratings for Piers Morgan will be for his interview tonight with Simon Cowell. Yes, I know Cowell has a following in the US and his shows have been hugely popular. But should Piers be doing yet another chummy interview with a Brit. The other day he had Rod Stewart on.
So here we have the very British Piers chatting up Brits on a prime time show that was once hosted by the very American and celebrated Larry King.
Noticeably, CNN pushed Piers off for Larry to handle the show when Liz Taylor died (yup, I know another Brit but she had morphed into being an American).
I just can’t see old Piers playing well with Middle America with all of this. Personally, I give him a year.
Bill Moyers is apparently set for a return to PBS, according to the New York Times. Flush with a $2 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, he is in the early stages of planning a weekly discussion show. He retired a mere week ago. Talk about timing. Just as Conservatives on Capitol Hill are pressing for a defunding of PBS up pops Moyers — a pet-peeve of the conservatives.