As a possible U.S. government shutdown loomed, the leader of the House of Representatives’ most conservative Republicans vowed on Monday to oppose any stop-gap funding bill that keeps federal money flowing to Planned Parenthood.
In a showdown that threatens to jolt financial markets and the economy, Republican leaders were struggling to craft a government funding extension that meets anti-abortion conservatives’ demands to cut off the women’s healthcare group.
Congress has five legislative days left before the fiscal year ends. On Oct. 1. If no action is taken, funding will run out for “non-essential” agencies and personnel. Republican House Speaker John Boehner has yet to articulate a plan.
“Our position is, we’re not going to vote for something that allows money to continue to go to Planned Parenthood,” Representative Jim Jordan said in a telephone interview from his Ohio district. He chairs the Freedom Caucus, a splinter group of the House’s most conservative Republicans.
Though they number only about three dozen, they have managed to exert outsized influence over the House and Boehner.
Jordan said there would be plenty of House votes for a plan to extend current levels of agency funding but shift Planned Parenthood’s funds to other women’s healthcare groups.
That sort of measure was expected to face opposition from Democrats and President Barack Obama. They have been supportive of Planned Parenthood since it came under attack weeks ago over a series of videos that allege the group sold aborted fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has said it has done nothing wrong.
Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have pledged to avoid a repeat of a 17-day government shutdown in October 2013, but also want to punish Planned Parenthood, a perennial target for Republicans.
While Boehner tries to advance a funding bill and tamp down a possible conservative revolt, the Senate might take the lead, with McConnell maneuvering for a politically palatable solution.
In McConnell’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Sandra Dittmeier said Republicans should not be “holding the government hostage” over Planned Parenthood.
Walking into the KentuckyOne Health Medical Mall, Dittmeier said Planned Parenthood may be controversial, but does some good and should be left alone.
“If they (Republicans) want to raise teenage girls’ babies, go for it I guess. I just really, really hate the whole method they’re going about it,” she said.
Here’s why Trump’s rabid base will never see the light: They’ve turned to the ‘dark side’
In a scorching piece for the Washington Post, columnist Colbert King made the case that there is no sense in wasting time trying to convince rabid supporters of Donald Trump that he is a racist or a white supremacist because that is part of his appeal to them.
Under a heading, "Don’t waste your breath trying to convince Trump supporters he’s repugnant," the longtime political observer cites the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes song, " If You Don't Know Me By Now," as "instructive" as to why his base is unreachable.
‘Very good’ White House discussions on Afghan peace deal: Trump
The White House signaled progress Friday in preparations for a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, saying that discussions between President Donald Trump and top advisors went "very well."
Trump met at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course with national security advisors including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, the White House said.
Also present were national security point man John Bolton and the US special envoy for the talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad.
Hong Kong protesters kick off new weekend of rallies
Hong Kong democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh protests on Saturday in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week -- and as concerns mount over Beijing's next move.
Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the international finance hub into crisis, with the communist-ruled mainland taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like".
Activists are billing two planned rallies on Saturday and Sunday as a way to show Beijing and the city's unelected leaders that their movement still enjoys broad public support, despite increasingly violent tactics deployed by a minority of hardcore protesters that have cast a shadow.