Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Politics Of Defunding Planned Parenthood

Father Marcel Guarnizo, formerly of my parish before he was dismissed for upholding the Church's teachings on worthy reception of Holy Communion, wrote an article detailing his opinion of what the GOP in Congress should do in the wake of the Planned Parenthood videos.  To be specific, he is touching upon the matter of the funding of Planned Parenthood within the federal budget.  As I read the article, Father states that there is no moral impediment to passing a budget that includes Planned Parenthood funding, for 1) they don't have the votes in the Senate, 2) they don't have the votes to override Obama's veto and 3) they have tried before.  While I can see his point, I'm not sure I'd be ready to throw in the towel just yet.

I'd like to focus on two points made under the sub-heading "Material versus Formal Cooperation".  The first one may seem minor, but not from a Constitutional standpoint.  He seems to speak of the members of Congress "signing a federal budget".  No one in Congress signs anything; rather, it creates legislation to be enacted.  The signing of that legislation is left to the President to sign it into law or veto it.  Second, Father states that "a law exists in place forbidding federal dollars from being used for abortions".  While that's true, the concept of fungibility renders that fact irrelevant.

From my days as treasurer of a non-profit, I can speak of fungibility from first-hand experience.  Most np’s have a pool of funds used for general operating purposes (called gen-op for short) with no restrictions on how those monies can be spent.  A hypothetical np might have 5 areas in which they use these funds, and of course funds run rather thin in all areas.  Along comes a donor who will donate, but only to Area A and no other area.  Fine and dandy.  The donor-restricted funds are put into the budget for Area A, and gen-op funds originally slated for Area A can be used elsewhere.  That is fungibility and explains how our tax dollars WILL be used for abortion should the federal budget fund Planned Parenthood.

Let's also consider the fact that while there have been failed attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, a vote now would be the first vote taken in the wake of the revelations provided by the Center for Medical Progress.  My opinion is that the GOP leadership in both houses should force floor votes and be prepared to use legitimate procedural means to forestall Democratic attempts to stymie votes.  That does mean that the leadership would have to develop some backbones, for over these past few years they have shown themselves to be quite feckless (actually worse than that, and I'll deal with that topic later in the next paragraph).  In bringing the matter of PP funding to the floor for a vote, each and every Representative and Senator will go on record for his/her vote in the wake of the horrific scandal of Planned Parenthood's sale of the babies whom it routinely murders.  Let any votes for Planned Parenthood be used by pro-life candidates as prima facae evidence why those Congresspeople should not win their next elections.  Should the bill reach the White House for Obama's veto, let that be a campaign issue as well.

As I read Father's article, it seems he wrote this before Boehner announced his resignation as Speaker of the House.  Over the past few years, his wielding of the gavel has been an abysmal disappointment and I daresay betrayal for while he played the groveling coward before the Democrats in Congress, he was actually quite ruthless towards the tea-party members of his own party.  To add insult to injury, it is reported that Boehner will use his final days as speaker to collude with Pelosi in ramming into the budget everything desired by the Obama cartel: Planned Parenthood funding, Iran deal, etc.

I'm also not entirely certain that conservatives in Congress are all that powerless.  If that were so, Boehner would have felt no impetus to resign.  But now comes the news that GOP officials in high places are suggesting that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell also resign.  This comes from Roger Villere, chairman of the Louisiana GOP.  He sees that many conservatives are no longer content with the measly little crumbs that the RINOs throw at us and that we don't intend to have our concerns and values treated like so many pawns in a chess game.

If we can do this sort of cage-rattling within the echelons of RINO leadership, we can give the PP defunding another attempt.  Dan Bongino wrote his own piece explaining why he too believes that there is a moral imperative to put up more of a fight than the one we are currently offering at this time.  If a reasonable budget without the Planned Parenthood funding is put before Obama's desk and he vetoes it, the onus of obstructionism is on him.  And by the way, if the Dems should snark on the GOP for "shutting down the government", one might wonder what they'd think about this stunt from one of their own who is considered "presidential material".

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