Republicans might shutdown the government again, this time over women’s reproductive health
If anything has been learned over the course of the Obama Administration, it’s that Republicans can’t stand the notion of providing healthcare to anyone. Two years after shutting down the government over Obamacare, those same Republicans are threatening to do the same over Planned Parenthood.
In 2013, after more than 50 failed attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act, not to mention a major court challenge and a federal election, Republicans led by Senator Ted Cruz shut the government down for 16 days in a failed attempt at defunding Obamacare.
Two years later and history may be about to repeat. Based on doctored sting videos that suggests Planned Parenthood harvests aborted baby parts for profit (which isn’t true), a group of forty Republicans are fixated on holding the Obama Administration hostage at the end of September when the government is set to run out of money.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both vowed there will be no more shutting down of the government. McConnell called it “an exercise in futility” and last month said “there’s no education in the second kick of a mule.”
Nevertheless, these forty Republicans plan to attach a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood to a government spending bill that would have kept the government funded and operating. A move that would assure gridlock and a shutdown.
The Federal Government provides $500 million dollars to Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization which provides reproductive health, maternal and child health services to women. Only 3% of their services are dedicated to abortion. Zero per cent of federal funding is spent on abortion. And no aborted baby parts are sold for profit (they are tissue samples donated for free to medical research).
Despite the facts, there are still a handful of Republicans hell-bent on disrupting the government in order to disrupt the reproductive health of women. For the record, there are 2.7 million men, women and children that benefit from Planned Parenthood services every year.
Republicans, no doubt blinded by religious ideology are once again in serious danger of alienating a large portion of the electorate in order to satisfy their small base of religious crusaders. Republicans were overwhelmingly blamed for the shutdown in 2013 and gained nothing from it. The same will be true with 2015.
Even in the years when a shutdown was avoided, the threat has always been there. A near default on the nation’s debt in 2011, including a near government shutdown. A 2014 bid to stop the president’s immigration policies. Republicans suffer from some kind of perpetual shutdown syndrome.
This time around, nothing has changed. Republicans aren’t holding any playable cards against the full house of the Obama Administration. Establishment Republicans are aware of the looming calamity, but may be powerless to stop it.
If it the shutdown goes through, it will once again be at the hands of the ideological few like Ted Cruz who may use the opportunity to further his presidential aspirations. The 2013 shutdown put Cruz’s name on the political map. Who’s to say he won’t use this one in a similar fashion.
With the Republican nomination battle underway, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether someone pulls the shutdown trigger. Like Cruz, any Republican presidential candidate currently serving in congress can use the situation if only to get their name mentioned in the mainstream media. A tough task following the summer of Trump.
If someone should become that desperate, you can bet Democrats will use it to their own advantage. Shutting down the government in order to escalate the war on women, right before an election year where your biggest adversary is currently Hillary Clinton? Good luck with that…