Next week, Congress is expected to send President Obama a bill that would both defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare’s mandates and the taxes that enable the law.
The measure has already been approved by the Senate, and House passage appears assured as well.
Associated Press reports GOP aides have said a House vote against Obamacare and Planned Parenthood is slated for January 6, just days before Obama’s final State of the Union address on January 12. Obama would have 10 days to veto the bill, which he has already threatened to do.
The annual March for Life – during which hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists will descend upon the national mall in Washington, D.C. – will be held January 22.
Republicans have reportedly scheduled a vote to override Obama’s anticipated veto of the legislation on January 26, though it is unlikely they will have the votes to accomplish an override. Still, the plan will garner media attention especially with the March for Life held just prior to the planned vote.
Planned Parenthood is already funded through the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed two weeks ago. The Republican-led Congress could have defunded Planned Parenthood in the omnibus, but Obama would not have signed the measure – leading to a government shutdown. Fearful of being blamed by Democrats and the liberal media for causing another government shutdown, GOP leaders opted to fund the abortion business for most of 2016.
According to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office, the bill, titled Restoring American’s Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, will “force President Obama’s hand.”
Ryan’s office states:
All told, we’ve forced President Obama to sign at least 10 bills that chip away at parts of Obamacare. The recent year-end funding legislation included no new money for Obamacare and prohibited a taxpayer bailout of Obamacare’s risk corridor program. We also delayed taxes at the heart of the law, “forcing the president to make his biggest concession” since Obamacare went into effect. Still, that’s not enough. So we’re using reconciliation, a budget mechanism that can only be used once every year. It’s an opportunity to avoid a filibuster from Senate Democrats and put conservative priorities directly on the president’s desk.
Ryan’s office adds that the videos produced by Center for Medical Progress that exposed Planned Parenthood’s apparent practices of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale and altering the positions of babies during abortions in order to harvest intact organs, “should offend everyone regardless of political persuasion.”
The speaker’s press office observes the establishment of a House Select panel that is investigating Planned Parenthood.
“In the meantime, Americans should not be forced to fund this organization,” the office asserts. “That’s why Congress will act to defund Planned Parenthood, and shift those resources to community health centers.” [sic]
“This is our best shot to stand up for our principles on behalf of the American people,” the press office statement continues. “’You can use this bill once a year, and we’re using it for this,’ Speaker Ryan said recently on Bill Bennett’s show. In doing so, we’re forcing the president to confront the failures of this law once and for all.”