Reid Opposes Planned Parenthood Taxpayer Funding Ban

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 3, 2011   |   5:46PM   |   Washington, DC

With the House of Representatives having approved a long-term Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government that contains an amendment to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, the attention has turned to the Senate.

Speculation has been that Senate Democrats will not allow a vote on a similar measure that has the Pence Amendment to de-fund the abortion business and, in a serious of confusing and incoherent responses, Reid confirmed that yesterday.

As a press conference, a reporter for CNS News asked Reid if he would reject a long-term Continuing Resolution and shut down the government rather than add a similar amendment to a bill that cuts taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.

“Listen,” Reid began his response that did not answer the question.
“We have–I don’t know the number of riders that they have on this. These riders go from eliminating public broadcasting … but the point is there’s not one thing, they have multiple things. So we’re not going to get into this theoretical thing where we’re going to shut the government down over eliminating public broadcasting or eliminating the ability to–there’s pollutants in the air,” CNS reported him saying. “You know, we have some things in Nevada, too, dealing with what they’re cutting the spending as it relates to scientific things, with the Nevada test site, that we have Livermore, Sandia–all of these things have just been whacked and we’re not going to let that happen.”

Another reporter then asked Reid if any of the pro-life provisions in the House-passed budget bill — ones that restore the Mexico City Policy, revoke funding for the pro-abortion UNFPA and stop direct taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia — would make the House bill a “non-starter” in the Senate.

“I believe there should be no riders,” said Reid, according to CNS. “We should legislate like we always have legislated. If they have something they want to change in the law, run it through their committees, pass it over there, send it over here. Don’t lump it to some spending bill that we’re all trying to work together to fund the government.”

The news web site indicated Sen. Charles Schumer, a pro-Breton New York Democrat, agreed and thought it was a “good sign” that the Senate passed the short-term Continuing Resolution it did on Wednesday without any of the pro-life riders.

“And by the way, it was a good sign that in their short-term proposal they didn’t put in any of the riders, they realized what poison they are to coming to an agreement,” Schumer said.

The Senate’s stalling on passing a continuing resolution that contains the de-funding amendment and the pro-life riders has upset House Republicans.

Congressman Mike Pence, the Indiana Republican who led the fight for the amendment, took to the House floor today to complain about the Senate’s inaction.

“Two weeks ago after 90 hours of debate, House Republicans in this majority passed a long-term funding resolution that found more than $100 billion in savings off the president’s budget, it defunded their government takeover of health care and it even denied all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America,” he said. “But while House Republicans have done the people’s business at this moment the Senate has virtually done nothing except find a way to fund the government for another two weeks, and the White House just appointed a few negotiators yesterday, just two short days before funding would have run out to begin with.”

“Well look, the patience of the American people is wearing thin and so is mine.  Our nation is facing a fiscal crisis of epic proportions–$1.65 trillion in deficits this year and a $14 trillion national debt,” he added. “The time to put our fiscal house in order is now.  No more delays.  No more kicking the cans.”

“Let’s have the debate.  Let’s hash it out.  Let’s defund ObamaCare.  Let’s defund Planned Parenthood,” he concluded.

Apparently, not on Harry Reid’s watch.