April 7, 2011
Shutdown Showdown is Finally Here!
The showdown as to whether or not the federal government will be (partially) shut down will take place on Friday, April 8. And it turns out, it’s really not even about the money, according to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
Punting yet another Continuing Resolution (CR) to the Democrat-controlled Senate, Speaker John Boehner has continued his “one bite at a time” plan to drastically scale down the spending for the remainder of this fiscal year (through September 30.)
Remember, in the last session, the Democrats controlled the Senate, the House and the White House yet could not find the time to produce a constitutionally-required budget to fund the federal budget. Yet somehow, this mess in which we find ourselves is the fault of the newly-elected Republicans and their leadership??!!
The Senate hasn’t even responded with any amendments to the GOP proposals, choosing instead to point fingers and try to place blame anywhere but on the Dems. Finally on Thursday morning, Majority Leader Harry Reid admitted that it really wasn’t the money the Dems were so adamant about; IT WAS IDEOLOGY. In particular, it was about funding for abortions and the EPA trying to force its global warming agenda onto the U.S. taxpayers after it was rejected in the last Congress.
Thursday, the House passed H.R. 1363 which does two important things. First, it funds the military for the remainder of the fiscal year, which has been a piecemeal process until this CR. Secondly, this is the first short-term CR to contain language which restores the important Dornan D.C. pro-life policy. This well-settled public policy is the ONLY pro-life policy rider that was lost while Democrats controlled the House, Senate and White House last session. Without the D.C. Dornan amendment, abortions are paid for using taxpayer dollars every day in the District of Columbia.
The legislative text reinstating the D.C. Dornan amendment can be found in Section 359 on page 182 of H.R. 1363. This language would restore the Dornan amendment to ensure that no congressionally appropriated funds (whether locally or federally generated) may pay for abortion in the District of Columbia. THE POLICY WAS IN PLACE FROM FY96-FY09. FY10 IS THE ONLY YEAR SINCE FY96 THAT THE D.C. HYDE AMENDMENT WAS NOT ATTACHED TO THE FINANCIAL SERVICES APPROPRIATIONS ACT.
This amendment has even been included in numerous Appropriations bills supported by Members on both sides of the abortion debate. Notably, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin included the DC Abortion Funding ban in his own legislative text twice since Democrats gained control of the Senate in 2007. President Clinton signed this policy into law six times. President Obama signed the policy into law for FY09 and voted to continue the policy twice while serving in the U.S. Senate.
Now It’s Up To The Senate — Again!
Comments made by Majority Leader Reid Thursday morning indicate that he could be planning to take up the CR, and offer an amendment to strike the legislative text restoring the D.C. Hyde amendment (Dornan). Given the looming government shutdown deadline of midnight Friday, such a vote would have to take place VIRTUALLY IMMEDIATELY. If an amendment were to be offered which would strip the D.C. Hyde amendment out of H.R. 1363, the vote in the Senate will be VERY CLOSE.
Pro-lifers should take immediate action to urge Senators with a mixed pro-life voting record to vote NO on any amendment that would weaken or eliminate the pro-life language in H.R. 1363.
Particular attention should be paid to the following Senators: Brown (R-MA), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), T. Johnson (D-SD), Kirk (R-IL), Landrieu (D-LA), Murkowski (R-AK), B. Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), but all Senators should hear from their pro-life constituents.
ACTION: Please email your U.S. Senator and urge him/her to vote YES on the CR (H.R. 1363) if Harry Reid brings it to a vote. This well-established pro-life policy is the first hurdle we must clear in order to stand up to the pro-aborts later when the GOP presents its budget which cuts TRILLIONS and includes many strong pro-life provisions.
What About A Presidential Veto?
Rumor has it that President Obama may veto this bill if it passes the Senate with the D.C. rider. Yet he twice voted for it himself when he sat in the U.S. Senate. Should he choose to veto ANY C.R., any fallout or blame from the resulting government (partial) shutdown will land squarely on the White House lawn.