ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolis ran an interview with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Sunday, January 25, 2009. The transcript is here.
Stephanopolis allowed the Speaker to gloss over her policy that does not allow debate or amendments from the House floor, or that no Republicans were allowed to see or vote in Committee on last week’s SCHIP Bill (“H.R. 2 is rushed legislation by the Democrat Majority that did not hold a single committee hearing or allow amendments to be offered on the bill.”), and were only given a summary at 5:30 AM on the day of the vote.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president has made it pretty clear he wants this to be a real bipartisan effort. Yet House Republicans have said they have been shut out of this process. There were no Republican votes in the appropriations Committee, no Republican votes in the Ways and Means Committee.
PELOSI: Well, because the Republicans don’t vote for it doesn’t mean they didn’t have an opportunity to.
While I believe that true contraception, as in prevention of the union of sperm and oocyte, is ethical, I had planned to move strait to the Speaker’s comments about Family Planning funds. However, it appears that the President was listening to the voters, even if the Speaker hadn’t.
Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 11:41 AM by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under: White House, Congress
From NBC’s Mike Viqueira
The provision within the stimulus that would allocate money for contraceptive programs through Medicaid will be pulled out of the package.
NBC News confirms that the president called Henry Waxman, the chairman of the committee that inserted the contraception provision into the stimulus during the mark up last week, to ask him to remove the measure from the bill, according to a Democratic leadership source.
In short, the idea has simply become too controversial. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of the program over the weekend, where she indicated that it would be a money saver, was not well received.
So that provision is out.
Complicating matters, both Minority Leader John Boehner and No. 2 Eric Cantor have told House Republicans that “all Republicans should vote against the stimulus” if it remains “in its current form,” according to a GOP leadership aide.
They spoke inside their weekly conference meeting, behind closed doors. Afterward, both men came to the on camera stake out. The House will begin debate on the stimulus package late today, with no votes expected until tomorrow. Debate is expected to begin somewhere close to 5 p.m. ET.
The way your U.S. House works is that anyone who wants to offer an amendment to be considered on the floor has to go to a committee, the Rules Committee, beforehand.
The Rules Committee is a complete and utter tool of the majority leadership. (Emphasis mine, BBN.) It decides which amendments will be allowed on the floor for consideration. The minority is habitually unhappy with the result, as their measures, especially the ones that have a chance of passage or contain some political mischief or “poison pill” language, are barred. The Rules committee meets this afternoon to make its decisions.
So, besides politics, what’s all the fuss about?
Part of the problem is the $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, ACORN, $200 million for sod for Washington, DC parks, $20 Billion for electronic medical records, and the emphasis on global warming research (with its increased costs for housing, transportation, food production and all aspects of our daily life).
One day after the 36th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and as the number of electively aborted children in the United States alone (non-medically necessary, not associated with “rape, incest, or the life of the mother”) approaches 50 Million, President Obama overturned the so-called “Mexico City Policy” or “global gag rule.” US tax dollars will once again be allocated to organizations that advocate abortion as birth control, and even those that lobby to change the laws of other nations to allow abortion where it is not currently legal. Every news article I’ve seen conflates the gag rule with limiting non-abortifacient contraception. However, the only restriction is that on abortion.
Another Bill now in the House and Senate, would wipe out abstinence-based sex ed and mandate emergency contraception according to the Rochester, NY newspaper:
* House member Louise Slaughter submitted the Prevention First Act of 2009 (H.R. 463/S.21). In the Senate it was introduced by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The legislation focuses on reproductive and sexual health issues, and in some cases reverses Bush administration policies. It provides funding for comprehensive sex education programs, and none for abstinence-only sex ed. Other provisions include mandatory access to emergency contraception for rape survivors, and a requirement that hospital staff provide factual, science-based information on EC, including instructions that it doesn’t cause abortions.
The bill would also force health insurers to offer equitable coverage for prescription contraceptives.
And then, finally (from the first link above), Speaker Pelosi on Federally funded contraception for the poor:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?
PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.