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Monday, September 28, 2015

McConnell Keeping Promise To Keep Government Open

by JASmius

I believe the applicable expression is, "Once bitten, twice shy":

The Senate advanced a stopgap spending bill Monday that would avert a U.S. government shutdown this week while dropping demands by conservative Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood.

Which wouldn't really defund anything, since almost all of Planned Parenthood's government boodle flows through Medicaid, outside of the discretionary appropriations process.

The measure, which moved forward on a 77-19 vote, would finance the government through December 11th. Current federal funding expires at the end of the day Wednesday.

At which time we'll all get to dance the shutdown hokey-pokey all over again, with the exact same result.

The plan is “the only viable forward in the short term,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor. “It doesn’t represent my first, second or 23rd choice.”

And I believe him.

McConnell stripped a Planned Parenthood defunding provision from an earlier measure that Democrats had blocked. House Speaker John Boehner, who announced Friday he’ll resign at the end of October, said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday that he’ll rely on Democrat votes to get the spending bill through his chamber.

Assuming he can get enough of them.  Which is no guarantee.

But I don't know why House Tea Partiers are complaining, as it's not as if they're not going to get their symbolic stand anyway:

The plan backed by Boehner and McConnell would allow votes on a separate measure to block money for Planned Parenthood. Republicans would use a process that would keep Senate Democrats from blocking the bill, allowing it to be sent to President Barack Obama. Still, that effort wouldn’t succeed because Obama would veto such a bill and Senate Democrats could keep Congress from overriding his veto.

But proponents contend it would get such a measure to the president’s desk, forcing him to defend Planned Parenthood, the women’s reproductive health service.

Which he will do without hesitation and with gusto, because Planned Parenthood still enjoys massive public support.  This is why McConnell isn't "giving away House conservatives' leverage" in a shutdown showdown, because House conservatives don't have any leverage and never did, something they never seem to want to understand.  The separate Planned Parenthood bill frames the issue in our favor, and that's the advantage of having control of both Houses of Congress.  But without a Republican at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, actual reversals of policy direction simply are not going to happen, and games of legislative "chicken" are not going to accomplish anything.  I know TPers want to create the appearance of "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!," but if those are also losing fights - which they are - then what is the practical point?

It's simply not a hill worth dying on for the GOP.  And the GOP doesn't have any such hills in any case.  Something I find overwhelmingly depressing given the pro-abortion candidate so many Tea Partiers are shoving down Republican throats as our presidential nominee.

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