Republicans just won’t let go of their fight against contraception. This time they’ve tied the issue to must-pass legislation, and as Talking Points Memo notes, possibly foreshadowing a government shutdown standoff over the issue.
The issue came up yesterday when House Republicans advanced a measure through the Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee with a rider to roll back the contraception mandate. The measure appears before the full appropriations committee next week and funds some of the largest government departments beyond Sept. 30th.
“The Affordable Care Act guaranteed that all insurance plans cover preventive services without cost sharing, including basic services such as HPV screening, vaccines, HIV/AIDS screening, and contraceptives,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who tried to have the provision removed. “It is unacceptable that House Republicans continue to go out of their way to deny women basic healthcare.”
The rider pushed by House Republicans also kills off family planning funding including funding to Planned Parenthood, slashes health programs and pushes abstinence-only education.
“This bill is about making tough choices, setting priorities and doing the right thing,” said subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) in a statement. “By reining in spending and controlling over-regulation, this bill supports job creation and economic recovery.”
This is a fight most Republicans don’t want. Senate Republicans already extended funding for at-risk programs through the election and at levels the parties agreed to during last August’s debt limit fight. That means the responsibility for this nonsense falls squarely on the shoulders of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). And since we all know Boehner has no ability to control the radical fringe in the House, looks like we should start prepping now for another shutdown battle over women’s health care.