When Congress gets back to work today, their schedule is more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey. After six weeks on the campaign trail, the House and Senate left plenty to do in the holiday frenzy — including keeping the government funded past December 9, when the latest spending resolution runs out.
For a jubilant GOP, the strategy for passing a new spending bill has almost certainly changed since last Tuesday. With President-elect Donald Trump set to usher in the first GOP Congress under a new administration since 1928, Republican leaders have the opportunity to start tackling a big portion of their wish list now.
After six years of trying, that means finally dealing a knock-out punch to Obamacare and replacing it with something more affordable and effective. After more than 50 votes to repeal the health care failure, conservatives (and plenty of Democrats who sided with them) have the chance to scrap a law that’s stripped Americans of their jobs, options, policies, doctors, freedom, and hard-earned money.
And not a moment too soon.
With enrollment barely scratching the surface of solvency and major insurance companies looking for the escape hatch, the country literally can’t afford another year of the president’s namesake.
To the delight of pro-lifers, Obamacare isn’t the only thing on the chopping block. The president-elect also has a chance to follow through with his promise to defund Planned Parenthood — something Congress managed to do last year, only to watch Obama veto the bill and continue taxpayers’ forced partnership with the abortion business.
On “Fox News Sunday,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hinted that the GOP might dust off that strategy in the next few months and give the budget reconciliation another try.
“Look, we put a lot of thought into this, and we’ve worked hard to repeal it in the past. We know there’s also reconciliation, as you know, Chris, that’s maybe a little inside Washington, allows with 51 votes to be able to do something in the Senate. In the House we could move forward.”
Although it’s sporadically used, reconciliation allows the majority party to fast-track a funding bill through Congress — clearing the path of Senate filibusters and the 60-vote threshold usually required by the upper chamber. Last time, the House and Senate used the approach to topple the president’s twin mistakes: Obamacare and Planned Parenthood funding.
And although reconciliation can’t be used to repeal all of Obamacare or completely sever ties with Cecile Richards’s group, it’ll go a long way to accomplishing both.
In a letter to congressional leadership, FRC calls on the House and Senate to make this a priority under the new administration.
“With a pro-life president and pro-life majorities in the House and Senate in 2017, Congress should again pass these provisions in a new budget reconciliation bill and send it to President-elect Donald Trump for signature in law… The pro-life community stands united in its desire to see legislation signed into law to stop funding for abortion providers and to remove Obamacare provisions which subsidize plans with elective abortion coverage… [Instead, we should reallocate] their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.”
In the meantime, your job didn’t end when the election did! Encourage your leaders to seize the day for life. Contact your members and ask them to get taxpayers out of the abortion business — in health care and beyond!
LifeNews Note: Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.