Saturday, August 29, 2015

House GOP Vows (Again) To Defund Planned Parenthood

by JASmius

....zzzzzzzzzzzsnort, whatimizit?  Humh, oh, sorry, I <yaaaaaawwwwn> dozed off there for a minute.  What were we talking about again?  Oh, yeah, that's right, the House GOP leadership vowing to hold another vote on defunding Planned Parenthood, which they might as well line up with the dozens and dozens of votes they've successfully undertaken to defund and repeal ObamaCare over the past - what is it by now, I've lost count - four and a half years, I think it is?  Every last one of which died in the Senate, either at Harry (G)Reid's hands or by Democrat filibusters.  The same as this attempt will:

House Republican leaders are planning a vote to freeze funding for Planned Parenthood this fall, according to GOP aides, a move that could help mitigate an inter-party battle and avoid a government shutdown.

“We’re encouraged to know there will be a vote this fall, whether it’s our bill or something that is similar,” a spokesman for Representative Diane Black (R-TN6) said Friday.

A bill to defund Planned Parenthood is expected to come up for a vote shortly after lawmakers return from recess, aides said. It would likely take the form of legislation from Black which would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood for one year, although leaders are still weighing their options.

Like I said the other day, Republicans are not revolutionaries.  But then they never claimed to be, and we should not expect that from them which they are not capable of delivering.

Boehner wanted to footdrag his way through congressional hearings and investigations in order to have ample barriers behind which to hide this defunding effort, but the base - understandably and appropriately - wants action NOW, as only makes political and public relations sense since pro-lifers will probably never get a better opportunity to roll back the abortion insanity while the rolling is this good.  So the leadership relented, but only partially, which is why the compromise is making the defunding only for the next year.  Which is less wimpy than it sounds, since the current Congress can only fund or defund ANYTHING for the next fiscal year, after which the whole thing is up for grabs again the following fiscal year, and then the year after that, and so on.  It's called the discretionary appropriations process, some of which amazingly still exists, if only in a vestigial sense.

And the House will pass this defunding bill, too.  And then it will die in the Senate to the inevitable Democrat filibuster and Senate Republicans will cave and fully fund Planned Parenthood, because there's no way in all the hells that they'll ever risk a government shutdown ever again:

“I’m not in the shut down government camp. That is not the way to get to the bottom of this issue, by shutting down the government,” [Representative Black] said. “It puts the president in charge instead of the legislature.”

And that is just as well, since most Planned Parenthood funding flows through Medicaid anyway and is beyond the practical reach of congressional appropriators in any case - same as ObamaCare funding when Ted Cruz made his big grandstanding display of trying to "gut" it two years ago despite the fact that five-sixths of it was statutory and not discretionary and couldn't be defunded anyway apart from a full repeal that was just as politically impossible.

It is, in short, more "GOP Failure Theater," although in this instance it's much more that it's largely if not entirely beyond the GOP's control in any realistic political sense.

Let's give the Left credit for how expertly they have woven these gravy trains into the policy and political fabric.  If we're truly going to take down Planned Parenthood, it will never be as simple as passing a bill to defund it.  We'll have to privatize or repeal outright Medicaid as well, which will happen around the same time that Sheldon Cooper becomes the new Dos Equis beer spokesman.

Nobody ever promised that any aspect of "Republic Restoration" was going to be easy.  The war against Planned Parenthood is just the latest illustration of how desperately uphill that overall struggle is going to be.

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