As we grow closer to the end of the year, we have yet another congressional crisis on our hands — and it isn’t the payroll tax holiday extension and unemployment benefits extension.
Because of refusal to negotiate in good faith, a legislative inability to pass even the most basic governmental agenda items like a yearly budget has turned the session into a series of quarterly battles and stalemates that leave both parties playing chicken with each other while the rest of the country braces for a possible government shut down.
Once again we are here. And once again, Republicans are testing to see exactly how far they can push the limits when it comes to bargaining. As Jennifer Mueller reports, they’ve already began plotting a series of policy riders that will effectively dismantle and eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every form of regulatory oversight. But how much of that is just an extra plank that can be stripped away during bargaining so that they can instead proceed on their other favorite quest, the war on women?
The Huffington Post reports numerous bans, funding and stipulations regarding reproductive health and family planning measures that Republicans are stuffing onto the latest budget. From continuing the ban on government funds for abortions in D.C. to trying once more to cut off all federal money to Planned Parenthood, the party also wants to spend money on abstinence only education grants, despite the fact that they have been repeatedly proven ineffective at reducing teen pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
The last time we hit stalemate, the D.C. abortion ban went into effect, although the president stopped the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in his final negotiations. Will he, and the Democrats, continue to hold strong on that position? Or is it possible that they will cave in order to negotiate out policies like the REINS act and other right wing ideological environmental and social attacks?
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