Congressional Republicans know how to play these games all too well.
- Walker Wildmon
There’s been much talk about a recent bill that passed the House and Senate. H.R. 3762 would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and defund Planned Parenthood. As one could have expected the President vetoed the bill.
Republicans in the House and Senate are expected to take a vote later this month to override the President’s veto in an attempt to make the bill become law. Clearly, in order for the override to be successful a fair number of Democrats would have to sign on and that just simply will not happen. Consequently, the bill is bound to fail.
Must Pass Legislation
Those who have been keeping up with this entire Planned Parenthood funding situation know that in order to defund Planned Parenthood, the Republicans in Congress would need to go toe to toe with Obama to see it through. However, Congress needed to attach the defunding effort to a “must pass” bill. A “must pass” bill is one that is vital to the function of government such as a funding bill. This would have given Republicans a bargaining chip in negotiations with the president.
For example, if the president has a couple of his agendas tied up in a bill then he would be more inclined to see the bill pass. My point is the Republicans in Congress and many pro-life groups are beating their chest and telling the public “we put a pro-life bill on the president’s desk.” The bill being the one Obama recently vetoed that would defund Planned Parenthood and gut ObamaCare.
That’s great. But is the bill on his desk the best we can do? The answer is no. We can do much better.
What few are talking about is that Congress had multiple opportunities to attach this defunding effort to “must pass” legislation.
Instead, Congress chose to take the easy route which is also the most likely to fail. By passing the defunding bill as a “stand alone” bill the chances of getting enough Democrats to override the Obama veto is zero.
In laymen terms, the Republicans knew this and deserve the blame for not defunding Planned Parenthood. They have had opportunity after opportunity to attach a defunding amendment to a number of bills in Congress and they have refused to do so. This isn’t on either the president or the Democrats. It is completely on the Republicans.
Pro-life groups should not be celebrating this reconciliation bill. Congressional Republicans know how to play these games all too well. They refuse to have a real showdown with Democrats choosing instead to have these “show votes” so they can go home and tell their constituents that they tried.
Rather than patting them on the back for getting this bill on the President’s desk, we should be asking them why they didn’t attach the defunding effort to must pass legislation.
The tricky part is that the reconciliation bill is a good bill. It defunds Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act. What Conservative wouldn’t like that? While this bill is “good” it isn’t the best we can do. If Republicans were serious about defunding the largest abortion provider in America then they would have a showdown with Obama and force his hand. Instead, they resort to meaningless votes that have no chance of passing.
Congress has the power of the purse, period. If the Republican majority is not willing to use that power to bargain for their cause (our cause) then they are not faithfully representing the conservative voters who put them in Congress to change things in Washington, D.C. It’s time we wake up to the games being played in Washington and put some committed conservatives in Congress.