Friday, September 30, 2011


Republicans are back to wanting to slash funding for Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act, and heating assistance to the poor in the 2012 budget, and Democrats are responding with "no, you will not." Looks like the next shutdown fight is on over the first of the 2012 budget measures.

House Republicans are attaching controversial cuts and policy measures to legislation required to run the biggest domestic department in the federal government, and if they don't back off there will likely be, you guessed it, another government shutdown fight.

Already, Democrats in both chambers are saying a draft of the House's Labor/Health and Human Services appropriations bill is dead on arrival, because it contains deep cuts to heating assistance for the poor, requires the repeal of a major provision of the health care law that will help provide assistance for disabled people, halts implementation of the entire law until the Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of its individual insurance mandate, and slashes Planned Parenthood and public broadcasting. Just for starters.

Republicans have already reneged on the deal worked out during the debt ceiling battle, so nobody should be surprised by this stupidity. Republicans don't very concerned that the public will blame them for the multiple shutdown fights, either. All they have to do is drain the Democrats strength and keep them from being to accomplish anything in Congress and they win.  The next shutdown fight is now on, and it will be followed by a continuous number of them until the GOP is removed from a position of power.

The difference this time is that Republicans, in addition to going after NPR and Planned Parenthood, are also looking to zero out funding for Affordable Care Act provisions that have taken place already and the ones that are expected to take place in 2012.  The real issue is the clause to put all the enacted provisions into limbo until the Supreme Court can rule on the law next year.  That alone would take health insurance away from millions.  Republicans are playing with fire here, but they feel pretty good about their chances that once again they can take us hostage and extract concessions without paying a price for it.

In fact, Republicans are counting on Dems not to care in 2012.  So far the plan is working perfectly.  You have the power to make a difference.  Use it.

Unless you think permanent shutdown battles is any way to run a government.