Single Issue Chucky

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic” – Benjamin Franklin

It’s late Friday night, and the House and Senate have apparently just reached an agreement to avoid a government shutdown for another six days. I don’t know the particulars, but supposedly it is not a done deal – the president still has to sign it, and he has threatened veto depending on the bill’s particulars.

Republicans have already passed a bill that would allow the government to run for the remainder of the fiscal year, which included $61 billion in spending cuts over that time. The Democrats have opposed it. As Harry Reid pointed out earlier this week, this is pocket change in Washington terms.

So why the difficulties? Why is it so hard to get continuing resolutions passed? The answer is simple: ideology. Conservative, Tea Partiers in the House have demanded that spending cuts include defunding such things as NPR and Planned Parenthood. Progressives have insisted that these cuts cannot be tolerated – even if both sides agree on the total spending levels.

Speaking to a Planned Parenthood rally earlier today, New York Senator Charles Schumer  declared that bills to defund Planned Parenthood are “never, never, never going to pass the Senate.”

It’s interesting to see. When something like this comes up and neither side is willing to budge, each will accuse the other of being implacable. Progressives have declared shock and dismay that Republicans would be willing to shut down the entire government over such an ideological issue … Pot, I’d like to introduce you to Kettle.

Consider, Republicans have passed a bill to keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year – but it zeros out the Planned Parenthood funding. Democrats like Schumer have said they’d rather shut the entire government down, than allow Planned Parenthood to be defunded alone (or, perhaps with NPR and a few others).

Let me translate Schumer’s statements another way. “Conservative Americans have demanded that they be allowed to go to work and not be taxed in support of baby murder … but we will never let that happen! We will never let them get away with not paying for baby killing – we will make sure that everybody who produces anything at all in this country will give a portion of their productivity to the slaughter.” Well done Chuck, you are some kind of saint.

I don’t know the particulars of this latest bill, but I hope whatever comes out next continues to press for the full defunding of Planned Parenthood.

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