House Republicans couldn’t override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would have repealed most of Obamacare and eliminated taxpayer funding for abortion business Planned Parenthood. The 241-186 vote fell short of the required two-thirds needed to block the veto.
Though Republicans control the House and could have used their constitutional “power of the purse” to defund Planned Parenthood in December, they caved to Democrats and instead passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that contained – among many other items on the establishment wish list – funding for Planned Parenthood.
Speaker Paul Ryan said about the spending bill, “Democrats won some, they lost some; we won some, we lost some,” reported Roll Call.
— Cong. Tim Huelskamp (@CongHuelskamp) December 16, 2015
Knowing the leftwing media would have blamed them for an ensuing government shutdown if they refused to fund Planned Parenthood in the omnibus, GOP leadership surrendered and then attempted to save face with a show vote in early January – on a separate bill to repeal Obamacare and end Planned Parenthood funding. That measure passed Congress using the reconciliation process which requires fewer votes. Obama, predictably, vetoed it.
Had Obama refused to sign the must-pass omnibus without Planned Parenthood’s funding in December, it would have been the president himself who was to blame for a government shutdown. The new conservative media would then have stood behind Republican leaders in Congress for upholding their constitutional duty by refusing to fund a potentially criminal enterprise like Planned Parenthood.
Now, however, we have a new year and Planned Parenthood is once again funded, and Obamacare is still rolling along.
Some national pro-life leaders are declaring the override veto attempt to be a precedent-setting event – a Planned Parenthood defunding bill finally making it to the president’s desk. They are praising a “valiant effort” on the part of House Republicans, even a way to put Obama on record for continuing Planned Parenthood funding – as if he is not already on record saying, “God Bless Planned Parenthood.”
In reality, more than one man has stood in the way of defunding Planned Parenthood in 2016. Republicans who approved the omnibus spending bill that funded the abortion business for most of this year could have rejected it, as did steadfast pro-life members of Congress.
As for a “precedent” being set with the reconciliation show-vote, America already has a “precedent” – it’s called the Constitution. It tells us the House of Representatives can terminate funding for activities and programs it deems inappropriate. It’s always easier to have a president in the White House who wants what you want. But, when you don’t, it’s time to fight and use the power and authority you have – and the Constitution provides.
Evangelical leader Franklin Graham left the Republican Party after GOP leaders included Planned Parenthood funding in the omnibus spending bill.
“After all of the appalling facts revealed this year about Planned Parenthood, our representatives in Washington had a chance to put a stop to this, but they didn’t,” he posted on Facebook. “Seeing and hearing Planned Parenthood talk nonchalantly about selling baby parts from aborted fetuses with utter disregard for human life is reminiscent of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi concentration camps! That should’ve been all that was needed to turn off the faucet for their funding.”