The Only Thing Holding Up Deal To Avert Shutdown Are GOP “Policy Riders”

Harry Reid took to the Senate floor earlier today and said that he was less optimistic about averting a shutdown than he was last night because Republican insistence on issues like Planned Parenthood funding is what’s really holding up a deal:

After an all-night negotiating session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that he is “not nearly as optimistic” as he was last night about avoiding a government shutdown before a Friday deadline, saying of a federal funding gap: “it looks like it’s headed in that direction.”

The Democratic leader said that the two sides have essentially agreed on the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget but that Republicans have drawn a line in the sand over “ideology”  – including policy issues dealing with funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our differences are no longer over the savings we get on government spending, Reid said. “The only thing holding up an agreement is ideology.”

(…)
House Republicans are lobbying for some “policy riders” – attachments to the budget bill – including ones that would defund the president’s health care plan, cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and target EPA greenhouse gas rules.

Those riders, particularly those relating to abortion, have no place in a budget bill, an exasperated Reid argued.

“It’s not realistic to shut down the government on a debate dealing with abortion,” the Nevada lawmaker said. “It’s not realistic and it’s not fair to the American people.”

While these policy riders passed the House easily, they are largely opposed in the Senate and would have no chance of passing if brought to a vote. Quite honestly, if this is all the argument is about at this point then I think the GOP is playing with fire. I’ve said it for a week now. Make the deal. It appears that, when it comes to numbers they basically have, but far-right obstinance on issues like funding Planned Parenthood may still force us into a shutdown. That’s just stupid.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Simon says:

    Mr. Reid is of course correct that “ideology” is holding up a deal; he errs only in implying that it’s one-sided. The GOP wants to include the riders because of ideology and the Democrats oppose them because of ideology. And since when has ideology—a paradigm, a lens through which we look at the world, a more-or-less coherent approach to issues—a bad thing? Most people have one (including those who, like me, fret that overarching ideological theories can be dangerous: that commitment is itself an overarching ideological theory), and those who don’t are hardly something to admire, careening from one ad hoc patch to the next and forever wondering why the thing never gets fixed. What would House do? House wouldn’t fix this symptom now and the next symptom when it shows up! House would diagnose the problem. House is, in the best sense, an ideologue. Ideology is only a problem when it become hermetically sealed from new information, incapable of responding to changed facts or defeated premises. When the facts change, House changes his mind.

    It’s a simple deal. Drop the NPR rider(which is trivial and unimportant) in exchange for the Planned Parenthood rider (which is worth fighting over).

  2. legion says:

    Somebody tell me again how this is “both parties’ fault”… It’s always been clear that a vocal, stupid, venal minority inside the GOP caucus _wants_ this to happen, _just_ because of the problems it will cause Obama & the Dems. Regardless of the problems it will cause for the rest of America.

  3. legion says:

    Simon,
    There’s a difference between ‘ideology’ and ‘pathology’. There is already a ban on using federal money for abortions. The social benefits of Planned Parenthood’s education, support, and healthcare efforts are tangible and well-documented. The _only_ reason to demand its defunding is a basic opposition, not simply to abortion, but to birth control and sex education in general. That’s _wildly_ out of line with mainstream American morals.

  4. Axel Edgren says:

    This is the meme, democrats. LEARN IT: “The reason there was a shutdown was that republicans tried to cram a crippling of the EPA and non-medical operations of the Planned Parenthood down the throats of the public, at the orders of fat cats and Big Church Donors”.

  5. The line of thinking is that by funding Planned Parenthood, that opens up funds that they would have to personally spend elsewhere, and allows them to use THEIR money to fund abortions. Also, to kill Jesus.

    The problem is that I believe that the GOP core “base” knows that the GOP is fundamentally disinterested in saving money – look at their defence spending – but they’re OK with it because they fundamentally believe that their opposition to womens’ rights will get them into heaven. At least, this is the lie they’ve been told.

    It’s very, very hard to fight that level of fundamentalist belief, especially when it’s permeated so deeply into our political mainstream.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    And since when has ideology—a paradigm, a lens through which we look at the world, a more-or-less coherent approach to issues—a bad thing?

    Since always. Ideology excludes data by attempting to force the set of all data — the world — into a set of rules. Inevitably some information is ignored while other information is favored, so that ideology becomes self-fulfilling, self-perpetuating, and essentially destructive of any effort to find the truth.

    The opposite of ideology is not ad hoc, it is perhaps phenomenology or empiricism.

    If the object of the game is to approach truth it should be done by minimizing presuppositions and continually questioning remaining assumptions. Ideology is a close relative of religion. I prefer empiricism which is more closely related to science.

  7. matt says:

    Not to mention only 3% of planned parenthood’s offer abortion related services….

  8. john personna says:

    We don’t have very coherent greenhouse gas rules, but trying to zap one kind of federal response, while leaving others, and state responses, hardly fixes that.

    We need a national conversation. We are making the world less nice in a lot of ways. We are in the Holocene extinction event.

    If the GOP is right, we just don’t care.

  9. john personna says:

    Hell, let’s defund Fish and Game, and just catch all the critters left.

  10. mantis says:

    I’m shocked that the GOP would shut down the government over culture war bullshit. Wait, did I say shocked? I meant this is exactly what I expected.

  11. jwest says:

    To be fair, if a group of decidedly right-wing women put a 501c3 non-profit together to promote child birth and adoption, along with general women’s health, would everyone here support the federal government giving them a 350 million dollar grant each year?

  12. KRG says:

    If they offered Title X covered services, then they would be just as eligible to apply for Title X funding as Planned Parenthood is. It’s not like PP is a budget line item in and of itself. The money is put into the program, and any service provider can apply for grants from it based on offering the related services.

  13. sam says:

    “To be fair, if a group of decidedly right-wing women put a 501c3 non-profit together to promote child birth and adoption, along with general women’s health, would everyone here support the federal government giving them a 350 million dollar grant each year?”

    If you could show its efficacy, why not?

  14. Nikki says:

    “To be fair, if a group of decidedly right-wing women put a 501c3 non-profit together to promote child birth and adoption, along with general women’s health, would everyone here support the federal government giving them a 350 million dollar grant each year?”

    Depends. If the right-wing women are going to provide their services without a dose of fundamentalist Christian-ism, then sure, if they can make it work. Otherwise, not so much.

  15. mantis says:

    To be fair, if a group of decidedly right-wing women put a 501c3 non-profit together to promote child birth and adoption, along with general women’s health, would everyone here support the federal government giving them a 350 million dollar grant each year?

    The government already spends way more than that on child adoption every year. We have this thing called the Administration for Children and Families in HHS. You should look into it.

  16. michael reynolds says:

    Actually the ground is thick with adoption agencies. But as a person who was adopted by one parent, and is the father of an adopted daughter, I’m all for anything that promotes adoption so long as it’s not a religious front organization.

  17. legion says:

    And to add fuel to the fire, how much have we spent on demonstrably-worthless “abstinence” programs, thanks to our Evangelical Republican overlords?

  18. Wiley Stoner says:

    When was it that this budget should have been passed. Oh, let’s see. That was October 2010.
    And why did it not get throught a congress in which the donks held the majority in both houses? Could have been to protect blue dog donks who probably lost the election anyway? What is wrong the left? Even after you lose an election you still resist the will of the people. I guess we will just have to clean house completely in 2012.

  19. wr says:

    Yes, Wiley, becaus YOU are the people and whatever YOU believe is what the people believe. Why the rest of the world doesn’t understand that is beyond me.

  20. sam says:

    Hypothesis:

    Wiley = Zels

  21. mantis says:

    Wiley = Zels

    No doubt about it. And John Malkovich is RINO MORON (along with other names).

  22. matt says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that believes Wiley is zels.

  23. OgreMkV says:

    Yep, that sounds about right. Republicans (well most of them) hate you and the Earth and everyone and everything on it.