John Boehner made a very telling comment in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Sunday. Discussing the proposed continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the federal government operating for two more weeks, he acknowledged that the Republicans will probably allow Title X’s funding for Planned Parenthood to continue for now, but not in the long term. Here’s his reasoning:
“The goal here again is to cut spending and keep the government open. I met with a lot of religious leaders earlier today to talk about the strategy and I think it’s important that we understand that what we want to do here is win the war not just win a battle. And there will be an opportunity some time in order to win the big war and we're looking for that opportunity. I don't think this short term CR is the opportunity that will get us there.”
So, for all the Republicans’ talk about the need to cut government spending, Boehner admitted here pretty clearly that the fight against Title X has nothing to do with that. Instead, it’s a capitulation to “religious leaders” and pro-lifers, and it actually detracts from accomplishing the goals of “cut[ting] spending and keep[ing] the government open.”
For those of us who support Planned Parenthood and all the other family planning providers out there, Boehner has given us fair warning. He’s planning a “big war,” so if we manage to sustain Title X funding during the current budget battle, we can’t let that make us complacent.
The good news is that Chuck Schumer has big plans to defend Title X: he told a rally on Saturday that the Republicans’ planned Title X cuts will be “dead on arrival” in the Senate. I, for one, am going to be writing him a letter to thank him and tell him to keep up the good work. Are you?
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