Conservatives Stop New Boehner CR That Permitted Funding for Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, Palestinian Authority

Terence P. Jeffrey | September 22, 2011 | 4:33am EDT
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House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, right, accompanied by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

( - The Republican leadership tried to pass a continuing resolution through the House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon that would have permitted funding for Obamacare implementation, Planned Parenthood, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Palestinian Authority to continue in the new federal fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

The bill was defeated 195 to 230 when 48 House conservatives joined with 182 House Democrats in voting against it. 

Among the leading conservatives opposing it were Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas), Rep. Joe Walsh (R.-Ill.), Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.), Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-0hio), the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, which is the organization of House conservatives.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas), who are campaigning for president, did not vote.

The Democrats objected to the bill because it would have offset new money for disaster relief at the Federal Emergency Management Agency by cutting $1.5 billion from the $25-billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loans program that provides government-subsidized financing to automakers.

The failed CR, promoted by House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R.-Va.), was a temporary measure designed to fund the entire government through Nov. 18.

During that time, it would have funded the government at an annualized rate just $7 billion less than the level of federal spending for fiscal 2011--but $24 billion more than the Republican-controlled House approved in the budget resolution they passed earlier this year.

However, the spending level authorized by the proposed CR was at exactly the level of the maximum spending cap House Speaker Boehner and President Barack Obama agreed to in the deal they struck last month to increase the limit on the federal debt by as much as $2.4 trillion.

An analysis of the CR published by the conservative House Republican Study Committee, said that it “continues funding for the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), the UN agency known for its involvement in China’s brutal one-child policy. It also continues $300 million in annual funding to the Title X family planning program, which is a prime funding source for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.”

The study-committee analysis pointed out that in addition to permitting funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider, the Republican-leadership-backed CR also permitted more than $2 billion in additional funding for domestic birth control and international population control through Medicaid and foreign aid programs.

“Note that Medicaid also provides $1.4 billion in family planning assistance to low income individuals,” said the analysis. “The CR also continues to provide international population control funds at a rate of $575 million per year.”

The CR pushed by the Republican leaders did not include some of the key spending policy changes sought by conservatives.

“Some conservatives may be concerned that the legislation does not block funding for Obamacare during the period covered by the legislation,” said the study-committee analysis.

It also would have permitted federal funding to continue to flow to abortion providers, the Legal Services Corporation (which funds law firms that file suits in pursuit of liberal causes), and the Palestinian Authority, which does not recognize the right of Israel to exist.

“The legislation does not include many other ‘riders’ that conservatives have advocated during the appropriations process,” said the Republican Study Committee analysis. “This includes a ban on funding for abortion providers, prohibiting funds for various new environmental regulations, and prohibiting funds for Net Neutrality regulations. The legislation provides the same funding formula for most programs, with final funding levels left to November 18, 2011 for individual program levels. This means that the cr continues to provide funding for many programs that conservatives would object to, such as NRR, the Palestinian Authority, and Legal Services Corporation.”

Rep. Norman Dicks (D.-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, explained his party leadership’s objection to the CR in a speech on the House floor.

“The matter that concerns me and the Democratic Caucus is the way that the majority provides disaster relief funding,” Dicks said.

“They take $1.5 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program at the Department of Energy to pay for $1 billion in disaster and emergency relief,” said Dicks. “We have discussed compromise with the other side. They have been unwilling to accept our suggestions.”

Planned Parenthood, which would have continued receiving federal tax dollars under the Republican-leadership CR, aborted 332,278 babies in 2009, according to its most recent annual report. It also received $363.2 million in government money in its organizational fiscal year that ended in June 2009. A Planned Parenthood spokesman told Bloomberg Businessweek that 90 percent of that $363 million in government money came directly from the federal government or from Medicaid, a federal-state program.

At its 2009 pace of 332,278 abortions per year, Planned Parenthood aborts 910 babies per day.  At that rate, the organization could have aborted 44,590 babies during the 49 days the Republican-leadership-backed CR would have permitted it to continue taking in federal tax dollars.

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