House Republicans are expected to announced today that they will attempt to use the reconciliation process in an attempt to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, which has been caught selling aborted babies and their body parts.
The announcement comes one day after the Senate defeated a bill to fund the federal government that included language de-funding Planned Parenthood for one year while the Congressional investigation continues into how it allegedly violated multiple laws to sell aborted babies and their body parts.
The Hill has more on what Republican leaders in the House are thinking:
House Republican leaders are planning to target Planned Parenthood’s funding by immediately drafting a fast-track reconciliation bill, according to a senior House GOP aide. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenants will lay out their strategy at a closed-door conference meeting on Friday.
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While the plan would mean supporting a short-term bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday to keep the government open through Dec. 11, it could also lead to legislation blocking money for Planned Parenthood hitting President Obama’s desk.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) defended the strategy in an interview Thursday with CNN, arguing that fighting Planned Parenthood through budget reconciliation was the wiser strategy.
“We intend to put on the president’s desk, I believe, legislation,” Ryan said. “And we can do that through our budget process. So I think there are better ways in getting at this issue, defunding this barbaric process and this group that does this, then involving the shutdown issue.”
With Speaker John Boehner announcing today that he will resign from Congress next month, the idea may generate more support from conservative Republicans who have been arguing for a shutdown of the federal government in order to attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood. As The Hill continues:
Many House Republicans voiced support for using reconciliation during “listening sessions” held between GOP leaders and their rank-and-file. The rules would prevent Senate Democrats from filibustering, almost ensuring that a funding bill blocking money for Planned Parenthood would reach the White House.
Implicit in this course, however, is the suggestion that the House would have to vote next week on the Senate bill that includes funding for Planned Parenthood.
That might be a bridge too far for many House conservatives, who have insisted they will not support any government-funding bill that also includes money for Planned Parenthood.
While the reconciliation process would result in getting a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood to pro-abrotion President Barack Obama’s desk, Obama has already promised repeatedly to veto any bill that revokes taxpayer funding for the abortion company. The Senate does not have enough votes to overcome such a veto, leading some pro-life groups to point out that there is little hope of de-funding Planned Parenthood until the election of a pro-life president next year.
Writing at Hot Air, pro-life conservative blogger Ed Morrissey says there are “two significant downsides” to the strategy even though it forces Democrats and Obama to be on the record opposing Planned Parenthood de-funding.
In order to use this strategy, conservatives in the House will have to vote for a continuing resolution that will de facto extend funding for Planned Parenthood into December. The Hill’s reporters say that may be a “bridge too far” for the conservative caucus, who don’t want to cast a vote like that and have it on their records. Boehner might have enough Republicans to pass a CR anyway, or get enough Democrats on board to make up the difference, although the latter may be a stretch. Democrats may want to stand back and let Republicans take the fall for a shutdown in October rather than December, when media attention may be diluted by the holiday season.
The second problem is that none of these strategies will succeed, at least not in defunding Planned Parenthood. This strategy will succeed in forcing Barack Obama to veto a bill that defunds the organization, but he’s not going to sign a bill or a budget that cuts off those funds in any case.
Ultimately, to de-fund Planned Parenthood, pro-life advocates need to work hard now to build support for the pro-life Republicans running for president and to ensure the defeat of pro-abortion Hillary Cinton (or Bernie Sanders) who will continue to best-friend-of-Planned-Parenthood policy of the Obama administration.