Show Vote Showdown

Barb Wire

It may not be a comfortable position for Republican leaders, but it’s certainly a familiar one. Caught between Planned Parenthood and a hard place, the GOP has to decide whether to continue the funding of an organization that’s been exposed for trafficking in baby body parts or stand up to a President who has vowed to defend the nation’s largest abortion provider no matter what.

While Democrats sit back and enjoy the view, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is desperately trying to keep his fraying majority from unraveling in a messy budget debate that has serious implications — not just for his leadership, but the party’s at large. Revolted by Planned Parenthood’s underground baby-parts-for-profits scheme, voters are demanding action now. Like us, conservative Congressman Justin Amash has heard all of the excuses before. “Establishment Rs say, ‘Wait till we have a GOP Pres.’ If that happens, they’ll say, ‘Wait till we have a filibuster-proof majority.'” he tweeted.

For five years, Republican leaders have been in the business of making the other side’s job easier. Democrats don’t even have to work to get their way anymore — they simply threaten to block a bill and wait for the GOP to cave. As people who are familiar with the process, we understand the political realities. Without 60 votes in the Senate and a President who says, “God Bless Planned Parenthood” at every fundraiser, defunding these taxpayer-funded brutes is a tough (Capitol) hill to climb. But tough isn’t the same as impossible. And at some point, Congress has to do what’s right — not just from a political standpoint, but from a moral one.

A standalone bill to stop the flood of taxpayer dollars to Richards’s group, which has been promised by GOP leaders, will go nowhere. Obviously, there are certain instances in the House and Senate where a “show vote” is appropriate. But at some point, Republicans have to stop showing — and start telling. As everyone knows, the only way to force the Democrats’ hand is to put the issue on a must-pass piece of legislation. Like us, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) realizes the moment is too rare to squander with political posturing. “It has to be dealt with on the funding bill,” he said unequivocally. “They shouldn’t continue to receive a penny of taxpayer money.”

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And today, in the House Judiciary Committee, experts explained plenty of reasons why. This afternoon, Republicans held the first hearing on Planned Parenthood’s side business of ripping apart tiny babies and selling them like parts at a human junkyard. In one of the more shocking moments of testimony, Democratic witness and pro-abortion attorney Priscilla Smith actually argued that a late-term abortion, one in which a baby is torn apart and bleeds to death, is a “humane” way for the unborn to die. In typical liberal fashion, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) says it’s “immaterial” that Planned Parenthood admits on tape to breaking the law. Then, of course, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) tried to discredit the National Right to Life spokesman for not being present when the videos were filmed — only to admit that the Congressman hadn’t even viewed the videos he was defending!

If this is how the President’s party responds to Planned Parenthood’s nauseating brutality, Republicans have nothing to lose by holding the line. When push comes to shove, let the American people decide who’s on their side — and the side of humanity — if the President chooses to shut down the government. As FRC and dozens of coalition allies said in a letter to House leadership today, “The House can and must act to send a defunding measure back to the Senate while the exposure of these atrocities continue to shock the American conscience and build momentum to stop federal complicity in this organization’s inhumane practices.”

Sometimes we lose — but that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for what’s right. Americans are tired of waiting. It’s time for Republican leaders to stop protecting their jobs and start doing them!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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