Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat interfacing with the media on the media on budget negotiations, says House and Senate leaders are close to getting a final agreement. But pro-life groups hope the agreement includes language de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Schumer said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” program that Senate Democrats and House Republicans have made “some progress” on talks concerning a long-term continuing resolution — a bill that would fund the federal government through most of the rest of the year. Unless the Pence Amendment is added to the bill — as it was in a House long-term bill the Senate rejected weeks ago — the Planned Parenthood abortion business will continue to get millions in federal taxpayer dollars.
Rep. Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican who is the House majority leader, called Schumer’s comments “completely farfetched.” He said the White House and Democratic leaders are “refusing to offer any sort of serious plan.”
Both sides have two weeks until a short-term CR expires and the government is left without any funding. Schumer said the sticking point on the negotiations is where the budget cuts will come from, though he said it was a “good sign” that the shot-term bill did not contain the Planned Parenthood de-funding language or pro-life riders that stop abortion funding and sending taxpayer money to pro-abortion groups in other instances.
Representatives of leading pro-life groups say they are working overtime to urge members of the House and Senate to support the Pence Amendment and include it and the pro-life riders in the final long-term bill.
“The American people are growing sick and tired of Congress funding the government just a few weeks at a time with short-term Continuing Resolution bills. It appears more and more likely every single day that the next Continuing Resolution considered by Congress will be the very last for the rest of the fiscal year,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser says. “The question is – will the final Continuing Resolution bill defund Planned Parenthood? Or will America’s abortion giant continue to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding?”
“With the current short-term Continuing Resolution bill set to expire on April 8th, these next weeks are going to be absolutely critical,” she added.
SBA joined LifeNews.com and several other top pro-life organizations in pressing pro-life advocates to contact Congress and Dannenfelser says the effort has paid dividends.
“In a surge of grassroots activity, this week more than one million pro-life activists have been mobilized to call their Members of Congress while they’re home in the district offices. We’re hearing from sources in the offices that phones across the country are ringing off the hook,” she said.
But Dannenfelser is worried that abortion advocates are mounting an all-out campaign as well.
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just told reporters that defunding Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution “won’t be part of an agreement.” And now, EMILY’s List and the wildly pro-abortion MoveOn.org are launching an all-out attack on our pro-life stalwarts as they fight for the lives of unborn children and their mothers,” she explained.
While Congress has spent the better part of the year debating budget issues, Dannenfelser says unborn children and pro-life taxpayers have paid the price.
“According to estimates, since the beginning of 2011, Planned Parenthood has destroyed the lives of 74,477 unborn children while taking $76,200,000 straight from the pockets of taxpayers,” she concludes. “Enough is enough. It is time to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid indicated he would reject any House Republican funding bill that yanks Planned Parenthood funding — saying not only no, but “hell no.” President Barack Obama has also said he opposes de-funding Planned Parenthood in the budget bills.
This week, several leading pro-life organizations are calling on Congress to keep pressing forward with efforts to de-fund the $1 billion-dollar Planned Parenthood abortion business, which receives $363 million from federal, state and local government. With statistics showing Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion business in the nation and that it provides only abortion to almost every pregnant woman who walks in its door, and with videos showing it looking the other way as helpless sexually-trafficked young girls are subjected to abortions after being victimized, pro-life groups say there is little reason to fund the organization.
Leading pro-life groups have also been buttressed by support from more than two dozen fiscally conservative and libertarian groups that normally don’t weigh in on abortion debates but are urging Congress to de-fund Planned Parenthood. They released a letter to members of Congress asking for just that.