August 31

Far Right Threatens Shutdown to Defund Planned Parenthood

Far Right Threatens Shutdown to Defund Planned Parenthood

It may seem like deja vu, as the September 30th budget deadline approaches, there are again talks of a government shutdown. If you remember the first shutdown in fall 2013, there was an apocalyptic hysteria surrounding the entire situation. Instead, a Congress passed a quick spending bill for the military and other essential parts of the government. This had many politicians, such as Sarah Palin, laughing about the shutdown and how it shows how much of Washington’s government and its spending is not needed. Now, the government shutdown is still something to be avoided, as it negatively affects the reputation of politicians working there, but is not as ominous of a situation. For this reason, there are some politicians in Congress who frankly do not care if the government shuts down, because they will in no way vote for a budget that includes the funding of Planned Parenthood.

In case you have stopped hearing about this case, Planned Parenthood came under fire after their top doctor told undercover reporters that they sold baby parts for a profit. This is a felony, but many are stating that the video was edited in order to paint Planned Parenthood in a negative way. For pro-life groups, this was the straw that broke the camels back, and many are demanding the immediate termination of this federally backed organization. Planned Parenthood is a top provider for abortions in America, but policy change could not happen as long as they stayed between the law. For pro-life supporters now, however, this was enough information to prove that they broke federal law, and should have no more support from the government.

Now, Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell are in between a rock and a hard place as they have to try and avoid a shutdown but also appease the far right base. President Obama would not sign a budget that no longer supported Planned Parenthood, but Tea Party members in Congress say they will no longer support Speaker John Boehner if he chooses to pass a budget that funds Planned Parenthood. Boehner, who is an avid pro-life supporter, has promised to go about defunding Planned Parenthood in a different way, but the far right wants this done now and through the budget.

While August recess was a chance for politicians to take some time away from Washington and reconnect with their constituents in their state or district, they will have to hit the ground running when they return to DC. With the Iran Deal, the Budget, and whatever else will surely pop up in this next month, it will be a very important time for Congress to make some tough decisions.