Let’s hope Congress got plenty of rest in August, because it looks like they’re going to need it! With just 12 legislative days to handle a bushel basket of crises, members won’t have the luxury of easing back into their routines. Tomorrow’s first GOP conference of September will likely be a long one, as conservatives try to hash out their strategies over two critical issues.
On the foreign policy front, members will be tackling the President’s deeply flawed Iran deal, while on the domestic side, Congress is mulling a budgetary response to the abominable Planned Parenthood. Before the House and Senate recessed, most Republicans left little doubt as to where they stood on the issues. But where they stand and how they respond are two very different questions for this leadership team.
On the baby harvesting scandal, the Center for Medical Progress only intensified matters by releasing another five horrifying videos during the August break. Whether it’s the Planned Parenthood parts buyer requesting “another 50 livers a week” or her mockery of the horrified responses of lab technicians who open packages of intact babies, Americans are increasingly determined to stop this federally-funded Frankenstein.
Unfortunately for voters, political realities tend to drive these leaders’ decision-making — instead of the grisly realities of what’s taking place. For once, we have volumes of compelling evidence against Planned Parenthood — probably the best and most sweeping case for taking them off the federal dole since pro-lifers started making one. But as usual, some Republicans are more worried about shutting down the government than they are about shutting off the gravy train to a group that tears babies apart and sells the pieces for money.
“The American people,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “should no longer be forced to fund the abortion industry; therefore we will oppose any government funding legislation that would authorize or provide federal funds for Planned Parenthood.” While most of his party would agree, they differ on how to go about it. Most conservatives, including FRC, think the Republican Party needs to force the President and his party to address the issue, which means attaching it to a must-pass piece of legislation, like the short-term bill to keep the government running after October 1.
But that spooks some leaders, who are too busy trying to estimate the political costs to count the moral costs of a coarsened nation. Republicans like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) don’t want a messy budget fight. But the reality is, Republicans didn’t make this mess. Planned Parenthood did. And it’s time they were held accountable for it.
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) has been one of the most outspoken members on that cause — even going so far as to sponsor the moratorium on funding that FRC supported. Then yesterday, she told The Hill, “I am supportive of any and every viable solution to defund Planned Parenthood. That said, I do not support a government shutdown.”
Obviously, we want to fund the government too — as long as that government isn’t funding Planned Parenthood. Like us, Rep. Black knows that President Obama would refuse to sign a budget that defunds his abortion pals, so she thinks the House should move a standalone bill instead. Of course, the problem with that is, it won’t go anywhere. In order for the House to force a showdown on Planned Parenthood, her language to defund the group has to be on a must-pass piece of legislation — like a budget continuing resolution (CR). If it isn’t, pro-lifers will lose any and all leverage. If the House wants to hold a standalone vote in addition to the CR, fine. But for the legislation to have teeth, it will have to be on a must-pass bill too.
For this push to have a prayer, conservatives have to put the onus on the Democrats. If the Left wants to shut down the government in support of a group that carves up innocent babies for profit, let them explain that to voters. I guarantee the country will be a whole lot harder on a Republican Party who tells them to wait (again). First it was “Wait until we have a Republican House.” Then it was “Wait until we have control of Congress.” Now it’s, “Wait until we have a Republican President.” They heard the same excuses on ObamaCare. At some point, voters want leaders to act now — and let the country assign the blame for whatever follows.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.