Government Shutdown Looms As House “Freedom Caucus” Ignores Boehner and Obeys Ted Cruz

The Republican war on woman reached a new low with House Republicans led by government shutdown ringleader Ted Cruz threatening to shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood is defunded.

The prospect of shutdown increases each day as John Boehner continues to prove as incapable of leading his caucus as he was the last time Republican extremists engineered a government shutdown.

In 2013, Ted Cruz led off the rails ideologues forcing a shutdown because Cruz and his followers don’t believe the government should pay its bills.  This time, they are holding the government hostage in an effort to destroy women’s access to healthcare. It’s the war on women all over again – this time in an effort to destroy the country’s biggest reproductive healthcare provider.

The common element in both cases is we have ideologues pushing a government shutdown over a policy objective that will never pass.  Even if the House tries to defund Planned Parenthood, there is zero chance of success.  The Senate won’t pass it and President Obama will veto any budget that attempts to defund it. Still Cruz and his followers march on pandering to Evangelicals and, perhaps, garnering some free publicity for Cruz’s failing presidential campaign.

Combine Cruz’s lust for publicity to breath air into his campaign and John Boehner’s incompetence as Speaker, and it means the House doesn’t have enough votes to pass a budget that has funding for Planned Parenthood in it.

The Orwellian sounding “Freedom Caucus”  is another player behind Cruz and his attempt to defund Planned Parenthood’s reproductive health services by way of threatening government shutdown.  Led by Jim JordanR-OH, The “Freedom Caucus” is also behind efforts to remove Boehner as Speaker.  So the fact that they ignore Boehner and obey Cruz comes as no surprise.

They’re milking a severely edited propaganda video for all its worth.  The video was produced by David Daleiden, Republican Party hack, who probably learned his Goebbels level propaganda techniques from fellow video fraudster and friend, James O’Keefe.  Because of the editing involved, it appeared that Planned Parenthood was selling “baby parts” for profit – an illegal practice.  Facts never matter when you are waging war on women’s health and using the increasing prospect of a government shutdown to make it happen.

As noted by the Boston Globe, the unedited version of this video makes crystal clear,

 There is nothing illegal about what some Planned Parenthood facilities do: provide fetal organs, donated by consenting patients, to medical researchers, while charging a nominal fee that covers the cost of storage and delivery.

Once again, there is nothing illegal about this.  Planned Parenthood is not selling “baby parts” nor is it making a profit from the legal practice of providing fetal organs, donated by consenting patients.

Despite the facts, House Judiciary Chair. Bob Goodlatte, said he won’t vote for a budget that includes funding for Planned Parenthood even if it means a government shutdown.  During an interview with The Hill, Goodlatte admitted that he is a “long-time opponent of funding for Planned Parenthood.” In other words the doctored Daleiden video is ruse that Goodlatte latched on to in the name of defunding the largest provider of reproductive health services.

Planned Parenthood receives government funding under Title X, a program that provides low income women with access to family planning services, excluding abortion.  The funds it receives under Medicaid allows payment for abortion subject to Hyde Amendment restrictions.  In other words, Planned Parenthood is already complying with the same restrictions that apply to any healthcare provider that receives Medicaid payments.

When you consider that 97% of Planned Parenthood provided services are cancer screenings, contraception and tests and treatment of sexually transmitted services, the fact is Republicans are waging war on reproductive health services for women, especially women living on low incomes.  These are services that save lives and reduce healthcare costs.  Take them away and lives will be lost and healthcare costs will increase.  Cruz and his off the rails ideologues in the House are willing to shut the government down in the name of holding women’s health hostage.

Ted Cruz is one of the 3 Republican presidential candidates on record to support defunding Planned Parenthood.  Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee are the others. Cruz also held “shutdown strategy talks” with Congressional conservatives a few days ago.

This time, off the rails ideologues are holding the U.S. government at gunpoint in the name of taking cancer screenings, birth control and treatment for STD’s away from women.  The war on women continues.

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