New reports issued today on the exchanges between pro-abortion President Barack Obama and pro-life Speaker John Boehner show Obama refused to agree to Boehner’s demand to cut Planned Parenthood funding.
For over an hour on Friday, Boehner kept lobbying Obama to agree to some kind of funding cut. However, according to Bloomberg News, after Obama agreed to reinstate a ban on taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia, he refused to cut any taxpayer disbursements to the abortion business.
“Nope, zero,” he told Boehner when the pro-life Speaker asked him how much he would cut from Planned Parenthood.
Bloomberg also indicates pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden told Boehner the Obama administration was prepared to take the battle to voters and allow a shutdown of the federal government over Planned Parenthood funding.
Boehner asked Obama again, to which Obama responded, “Nope. Zero. John, this is it.” After that, the New York Times says one participant told it there was a long awkward silence following the exchange where everyone had a facial expression as if to say, “What do we do now?”
The answer was for Bohener to get pro-abortion Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid to go back on a promise he made to not allow a vote on de-funding Planned Parenthood. With no vote originally planned on the Pence Amendment, securing one to go along with the DC abortion funding ban was a victory.
Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican who is pro-life, told the news service Boehner told Republican lawmakers he got the best deal he could given that Republicans only control half of Congress and don’t have the White House.
“We control one half of one third of the government,” Issa said. “We don’t mandate anything.”
Pro-life advocates responded to the news reports on the inside negotiations between Obama and Boehner and praised the deal pro-life advocates won.
Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest thanked Boehner “for his leadership in gaining Senate votes on de-funding the scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood and repealing the President’s pro-abortion health care law.”
“Speaker Boehner achieved what most said was impossible – cutting taxpayer funding of abortion in the District of Columbia and guaranteeing straight up-or-down votes in the Senate on both defunding Planned Parenthood and President Obama’s pro-abortion health care law,” she told LifeNews. “Now it is time for the U.S. Senate to go on record on these critical issues and to get the American taxpayer out of the business of funding abortion. Their vote will be closely watched and AULA intends to score both as key votes.”
“Long-term de-funding of abortion is a strategic goal that has advanced this session, thanks to hard work and key support. More can be done, but we see pro-life momentum and look to the Senate to respect the wishes of the American people regarding federal funding of abortion,” she added.
Jill Stanek also praised Boehner’s maneuvering, saying he was able to get Democrats on record and set up election battles to defeat pro-abortion senators.
“While pro-lifers lament Planned Parenthood wasn’t defunded in the final 2011 budget, Harry Reid and Barack Obama threw seven Senate Democrats under the bus in the process,” Stanek says. “Reid and Obama agreed to let the Senate have an up or down vote on defunding Planned Parenthood.”
“We already know such a vote will fail, since 41 Democrats signed a letter on April 4 saying they’d oppose such a measure, making it bullet-proof,” she explained. “But House Majority Leader John Boehner’s strategy is to force so-called Democrat moderates to go on the record, potentially getting ammo for the 2012 elections.”
Stanek also hailed the educational value of such a vote, “Obama and Reid also threw Planned Parenthood under the bus by agreeing to Boehner’s demand. A vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood keeps it in the news, further tarnishing its brand.”
Thomas Peters of CatholicVote says, “I believe this reported exchange can provide us some lessons. The President evidently has promised that he will never cut taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. At the same time, he has not demonstrated one scintilla of interest in the claims made by Live Action (and others) that PP is a corrupt organization which harms women (and kills their children). Pause for a moment and consider what sort of things the President and his administration would be doing and saying if the claims made about Planned Parenthood were being made about pro-life health clinics. Suddenly he and his friends would be very interested.”
“Here’s why Planned Parenthood is such a sacred cow for Obama and the Democrats: it absolutely represents their own vision for “health care” for women. There is not a shred of difference between what they want American women to be told about these issues and what Planned Parenthood tells them. PP is an ideological vehicle for the left’s agenda when it comes to sexuality and reproductive “choice,” Peters continued. “What is outrageous about all of this is that Planned Parenthood remains a “non-profit” organization and is funded in large part by Americans’ taxes. I believe this represents a clear conflict of interest. After all, PP donates overwhelmingly to Democrat candidates and causes, who in turn channel more of our tax money to Planned Parenthood. The glaring point in this whole picture is who is paying for this: us.”
“The President’s total inability to make even the smallest cut to Planned Parenthood’s federal taxpayer funding should trouble those who are also concerned about our government’s record-high spending, debt and deficits. If Obama can not even defund even a corrupt, harmful organization like Planned Parenthood how will he ever cut bloated government entitlements – entitlements which you and I are being forced to fund?” Peters asks.
“Obama’s response to Speaker Boehner that he is unwilling to cut (or even lower) the amount of taxpayer money given to Planned Parenthood each year isn’t a message to Boehner – it’s a message to you and me,” he concludes. “The message from the President is: “Your money will pay for what I tell you it will pay for. And I say your money will pay for Planned Parenthood.” How do we feel about that?”