Don't let Boehner lie to you about defunding Planned Parenthood
Don’t let them lie to you. Congress CAN defund Planned Parenthood.
GOP establishment-types like John Boehner are going to try to convince you that it’s impossible to defund Planned Parenthood because funding for this baby-killing monster is baked into the cake of mandatory spending. They will try to tell you that since Planned Parenthood is funded through Medicaid, and Medicaid is an entitlement program, there is nothing they can do.
In their never-ending quest to make excuses for their abysmal failure to do the right and courageous thing, they will raise their hands helplessly in the air, shrug, put on a sad face, and tell us they tried their best, but their hands are tied, so sorry.
Do not let them lie to you. They can in fact defund Planned Parenthood in the upcoming appropriations process. What they lack is the will, not the way.
Here’s how Gaston Mooney, writing at Conservative Review, puts it (emphasis in original):
“Medicaid is an unusual mandatory spending program.
“While most mandatory spending programs bypass the annual appropriations process and automatically receive funding each year according to either permanent or multi-year appropriations in the substantive law, Medicaid is funded in the annual appropriations acts. For this reason, Medicaid is referred to as an ‘appropriated entitlement.’
“The level of spending for appropriated entitlements, like other entitlements, is based on the benefit and eligibility criteria established in law. The amount of budget authority provided in appropriations acts for Medicaid is based on budget projections for meeting the funding needs of the program.
“While most changes to the Medicaid program are made through statute, the fact that Medicaid is subject to annual appropriations process provides an opportunity for Congress to place funding limitations on specified activities in Medicaid, including the circumstances under which federal funds can be used to pay for abortions.
“The Congressional Research Service agrees that the appropriations process, the upcoming Continuing Resolution, provides an opportunity for Congress to place funding limitations on specific activities on Medicaid, like restricting taxpayer funding for abortion.”
If Congress wants to prohibit Medicaid funding from going to any organization that performs abortions, it can.
Bottom line: if your congressman says it is impossible to defund Planned Parenthood, he is either being dishonest, incompetent, or weak.
Republicans are desperately afraid that President Obama will shut down the whole government if he doesn’t get funds for ongoing baby butchery, and that they will get blamed for it.
Mind you, if Congress sends the president a Continuing Resolution that funds everything except Planned Parenthood, and in a fit of petulance he shuts down the entire government over that, it will be the president who is shutting down government, not the GOP.
But ruling class Republicans seem to lack the spine to speak that truth at all, let alone with one clarion, forceful and unapologetic voice. Instead, they live in perpetual fear of what the low-information media will say about them, and they cower in the corner, retreating into silent and brow-beaten impotence.
As Mooney put it in closing his article (slightly amended for the sake of grammar),
“So next time you hear politicians say their hands are tied and they don’t have the power to do anything about the horrors taking place behind the closed doors of Planned Parenthood clinics, you know they are just being cowards.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.