Holding GOP feet to the fire
Eddie Damstra | Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Despite not voting for Donald Trump, I felt rather content after November’s election. Republicans won the House, Senate and White House. As a proud Republican, I was confident that significant change could finally be enacted in D.C. Most of all, I was confident that Congress could finally put together a bill that would eliminate public funding of abortion, and make significant process towards ending the atrocity of abortion within the United States. After all, the Republican Party is the self-proclaimed pro-life party. Republican candidates have campaigned under the promise to defund Planned Parenthood for years.
Nevertheless, it appears thus far that Republicans in Congress have came up devastatingly short on their promise to defund Planned Parenthood. The spending bill that was agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans on Sunday keeps the current federal funding of Planned Parenthood in place. This is unacceptable. I certainly understand the political difficulty, even with a majority in Congress, to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood. I realize it would be very hard to get the necessary votes. However, to cower and shy away from even attempting to stop tax-payer funding of abortions is dishonorable and sickening.
The entire spending bill is largely being labeled a win for the Democrats. The Republicans really did not get much of what they wanted nor what they promised included within the bill. The reason for the Republicans’ concessions is supposedly out of fear of a temporary government shutdown. The spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year had to be passed quickly, or the federal government was at risk of another shut down.
However, I do not find such a reason sufficient enough for such a complete lack of effort. After all, the Republicans shut the government down in 2013 in effort to stop Obamacare. In shutting the government down in 2013, Republicans knew there was no chance they were going to succeed. Democrats controlled the senate and the presidency at the time. The move was largely a political stunt, with not much of substance involved.
This year, however, is different. Republicans actually do have the potential to get things through. More specifically, they have potential to do what they have long promised to do: transfer funding from Planned Parenthood to community health centers. Inexplicably, however, they have not even attempted to do so. I am not arguing that Republicans should make it their mission to shut the federal government down, but, at the very least, they should show effort to do what they campaigned on. They have political advantage; all I ask of them is to utilize such advantage.
It seems that Republicans in Congress often try harder when they know there is no chance of actually getting what they want. They fight back against Democrats when Democrats possess the political edge. However, once Republicans actually have the political edge, their desire to push conservative legislation dies out. Suddenly, they become political appeasers, cowering to the Democrats’ desires. As a Republican voter, this is extremely frustrating.
Given that it has only been a few months since inauguration, I certainly have not given up hope for the passing of conservative legislation. Paul Ryan has said that Congress will soon pass legislation repealing Obamacare, and include defunding Planned Parenthood in such legislation. I certainly hope he delivers on such a promise.
I think I speak for most Republican voters when I say that my patience is growing thin. If Republicans lose their massive political edge without having passed anything of significant conservative substance, and especially if they fail to defund Planned Parenthood, I will be infuriated. Donald Trump made a promise to do so. Republican congressmen and congresswomen made a promise to do so. Republicans have a majority in Congress, and the most powerful man in the world belongs to the party. There are no more excuses. Please, for the love of God, follow through.