Home National Politics Republicans to Shut Down Government Over Abortion, Climate Change, “Obamacare?”

Republicans to Shut Down Government Over Abortion, Climate Change, “Obamacare?”


How wildly irresponsible are the Republicans and their frenemies (friends? enemies? both? who knows!) in the Tea Party? Well, as the New York Times explains in its lead editorial this morning, they’re about to shut down the government even though Democrats have already “gone much too far in giving in to the House demands for spending cuts” – $33 billion, which is actually $1 billion MORE than Republicans themselves were seeking back in February. Also, I’d point out that $33 billion is a drop in the bucket (2% or so) compared to this year’s $1.65 TRILLION deficit, and it does next to nothing about the long-term, structural deficit problem our country faces (to do that, you’ve got to address “entitlements” and defense, which is where the money is), so it’s clearly not about the deficit, as Republicans and their Tea Party frenemies claims.

So, what is this all about and why are Republicans about to shut down the government? The New York Times explains:

If the federal government shuts down at midnight on Friday – which seems likely unless negotiations take a sudden turn toward rationality – it will not be because of disagreements over spending. It will be because Republicans are refusing to budge on these ideological demands.


Abortion. Environmental protection. Health care. Nothing to do with jobs or the economy; instead, all the hoary greatest hits of the Republican Party, only this time it has the power to wreak national havoc: furloughing 800,000 federal workers, suspending paychecks for soldiers and punishing millions of Americans who will have to wait for tax refunds, Social Security applications, small-business loans, and even most city services in Washington. The damage to a brittle economy will be substantial.

So, there you have it. Republicans and Tea Partiers claim they care first and foremost about “the spending” and “the deficit,” yet what they’re fighting for right now in Congress has essentially nothing to do with either of those things.

Let me repeat: the current “budget fight” is NOT a fight over the budget after all, given that: a) Democrats have already (foolishly) given in to Republicans on their $32 billion demand; and b) what’s left is Republican “policy” riders completely unrelated to “the spending” or the deficit. The point is, if Republicans and the Tea Partiers really cared about “the spending” and the deficit – let alone the economy! – above all, they’d be acting completely differently here.

But they’re not acting the way people would act if they really cared about “the spending” and the deficit, and that says it all. Instead, what they really care about is their far-right-wing social/corporate agenda of defunding health care reform; doing as much damage to the environment as possible (and serving their Dirty Energy industry/Koch brothers funders/allies); denying anthropogenic climate change; ensuring that consumers aren’t protected from predatory lenders; and above all, making sure that not one penny of federal money is spent helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies and/or have an abortion if it (unfortunately) comes to that. Believe it or not, that’s why the Republican Party – pressured by its Tea Party wing – will be shutting down the government.  

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    Actually, the TeaPublicans just pretend it is about abortion to suck up to their base.  But not one penny of federal dollars goes to abortion and they know it.  They pretend to get conservatives cheering for them.  2 million women get their basic health care through Planned Parenthood.  2 million!  They will no longer be able to get cancer screens, physicals mammography, etc.  They will join the ranks of the 50 million (which will be 52 million if they have their way AND more than 75  million if Rep Ryan has his way on the 1012 budget. He wants to end not only the Health care Reform bill, but also Medicare and Medicaid.  Talk about evil.  AND, they are taking us backwards to the 19th Century.  

    The other TeaPublican motivation is to drive every liberal and progressive organization out of existence.  The James O’Keefe video fiasco, was a sham investigation to mis-portray Planned Parenthood in the run up to this vote.  It is all by design.  Never mind that, overwhelmingly, clinic workers did what they were supposed to do not confront anyone in the interview process, but report any suspected criminality.  In Roanoke the clinic worker did more than report.  She even followed the filmers and got the license plate, then called it in to the police.  But O’Keefe doesn’t tell you that.

    This has been the plan all along.  They set the stage.  They have put forth numbers.  The Democrats agree to split the difference, as they always do.  The GOP moves the goal line.  And the cycle repeats.  Over and over.

    BUT here we are as the GOP plays with people’s lives and pretends they are doing nothing to harm Americans.  The Dems have given far too much ground. Remember the $60 billion figure is only for the remainder of 2011 fiscal year.  And then the real massacre of Americans will be attempted by the misanthrope Paul Ryan (who has far too many friends in the MSM, so-called)

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    Paul Ryan wants to cut $4.2 trillion from the 2012 budget making process (over 10 years) and then give $4.37 in tax cuts to the rich and corporations.  You know, so more companies like GE can pay no taxes but still get a welfare handout from the rest of us.  

    It is so clearly not about the deficit at all. So there it is.  It is about more wealth transfer from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.  Besides numerous economists have shown the numbers Ryan used were so bogus that his source, the Heritage Foundation (you know, the Koch-suckers) scrubbed the model from its website.  

  • pontoon

    from Democrats across the spectrum explaining that this is about the ideologues.  Even Repub. Joe Scarborough on MSNbc this morning is warning Republicans in the House that they are repeating a terrible mistake.  Will they listen?  I doubt it.  House Repubs are over-reaching, just as other Republicans in state legislatures have done this year.  The over-reach itself is what will do them in because it proves that they are really about promoting their right-wing agendas instead of jobs, jobs, jobs or fixing our structural deficit issues.  They will continue to preach and show their true colors during the next two big issues…raising the debt ceiling and the 2012 budget…but in the end, they will have destroyed any support they might have had with independents and be left with nothing but their base.

  • Hugo Estrada

    The first thing about the tea party is that they are the Republican base. They happen to be about 30%, about the same percentage that supported Bush all the way.

    Second, granting the Tea Party 100% support for these policies, which is not the case, but let’s do it for argument’s sake means that you may have up to 70% against it. Realistically speaking it depends on the subject that we are talking about, but for the most extreme position, there will be more people against than for them.

    So the claims of the GOP that they must do this due to the Tea Party constituent support is flawed in most cases. And even if the majority disagrees with their policies, even if the majority of their constituents disagree with a policy, that is when they take their principled stand for conservatism.

    The GOP has wanted to destroy SS and Medicare and Medicaid for decades. The tea party is the thin whitewash to make it look like their top-bottom policies, dreamed by conservative millionaires and spelled out by their think tanks, are actually a populist demand.

    So let’s not get distracted. It is the GOP and conservative that is stopping the government and destroying our society as we know it.

  • Sora Dina

    I also thought that was interesting that the tea party wants to reduce the deificit to the 2008 levels. Yet members of that infamous group forgot that the budget was balanced and there wasn’t a deficit in 2000 after President Clinton left office.

    It seems that the tea party has conveniently forgotten about all the government spending that was done under the auspices of the junior President Bush. It is definitely apparent that this GOP subset group is trying to pin the blame on President Obama and other Democrats for the government spending and have either forgotten or ignored all the years of government spending from 2001 to the end of 2008.

    Unfortunately the Democratically controlled House and Senate was unable to pass the 2011 budget before the new Congress came in. Perhaps if that had happened the Washington lawmakers wouldn’t be encountering the turmoil and uncertainty the country is facing now about the budget deficit.

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  • Peggy

    Argh. I’m feeling so frustrated!  I just gave one of Rep. Hurt’s aides an earful.  I apologized for getting worked up, but this situation is just so absurd and infuriating.

    I voted for Perriello, but my district got stuck with Mr. Hurt. Even those who voted for Hurt I’m sure didn’t think that defunding public media, Planned Parenthood or the EPA were top priorities.  

  • Note that 97% of Planned Parenthood funding has NOTHING to do with abortion services. In other words, Republican’ts are shutting down the government over defunding women’s contraceptive services, health services for STDs and cancer prevention, etc. The only question is, why would any woman EVER vote Republican?!?