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.