A U.S. Congressional Christmas Agenda Yule Love
Next week, Congress will have just settled down for a long winter’s nap. And based on the headlines, they’ll need it. The first order of business for the new Congress is a doozy: repealing Obamacare. With just days before the Hill recesses for Christmas, the GOP is making plans to advance President-elect Trump’s top agenda items right out of the gate in January. For leaders like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), it’s a repeal seven years in the making. And despite what Democrats throw at them, the GOP is more than ready to tackle the biggest failure of President Obama’s two terms.
Yesterday, in a pool of reporters, McConnell wasn’t shy about the Senate’s plans. He hopes to give Americans a belated gift by toppling a law that’s added trillions to the debt and driven insurance companies — and policy holders — to the brink. It’s time for “more choices, more competition, and more access to health care at a more affordable cost,” Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) argued. Although McConnell would like the Democrats’ “cooperation,” few expect it.
New Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already fired the first warning shot, telling his counterpart: “Bring it on.” Republicans plan to. “I’m sure they’ll try to make it as difficult as possible,” McConnell shrugged. No worry. As with the confirmations of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees, GOP leaders intend on taking advantage of the relaxed rules put in place when Democrats were in control.
Meanwhile, most people are applauding the move as another promise Trump is keeping to voters. For more than a year, he made the repeal of this monstrosity a centerpiece of his campaign. And in December of last year the GOP leadership in the House crafted a way forward in gutting the president’s unworkable system. Through budget reconciliation, Congress was able to advance a measure that hollowed out the not-so “Affordable” Care Act.
FRC worked with leadership in the House to include language in the reconciliation bill that would end the forced partnership between taxpayers and organizations like Planned Parenthood (which, incidentally, has now been referred for criminal prosecution for trafficking in aborted baby body parts). That measure passed both chambers only to be vetoed by President Obama, who refuses to sever ties with his signature mistake or his multi-million taxpayer pipeline to the abortion giant. But now that the trail is blazed, the stage is set for Act II. There’s no reason Obamacare shouldn’t be killed and Planned Parenthood defunded by January 2017.
As Trump said more than once, “I am committed to defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.” And considering the surge of money Cecile Richards’s group has raised on the abortion-funding-sky-is-falling emails, they’ve certainly proved one thing: they don’t need taxpayers’ support! Since Election Day, Planned Parenthood has raked in 260,000 donations — more than 72,000 in the name of Vice President-elect (and staunch pro-lifer) Mike Pence. Any group that makes roughly $195 million a year just performing abortions isn’t exactly a charity case! Still, Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, complained: “The days of public funding for Planned Parenthood are over when the Trump-Pence administration arrives in Washington, D.C.” Let’s hope so!
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