Kathleen Gilbert

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Enough: Pence opposes stop-gap budget bill for funding Planned Parenthood

Kathleen Gilbert
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The author of an amendment to the budget bill that would de-fund the Planned Parenthood Federation of America today voted against a critical stop-gap budget bill that dropped the contentious measure as well as other hard-won abortion cuts - a position that could trigger a rift between GOP leaders and their more conservative colleagues.

The newest bill, the sixth in a line of temporary budget measures, passed Tuesday afternoon 271-158, but not before conservatives’ unrest over their leaders’ conciliatory approach to budget negotiations had grown more palpable.

“H.R. 1 was a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life. House Republicans need to tell liberals in the Senate, ‘This far and no further,’” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) in a statement Tuesday. “Nobody wants a government shutdown, but unless we take a stand, we will shut down the future for our children and grandchildren.”

The newest short-term Continuing Resolution to keep the government afloat through April 8 contains $6 billion in spending cuts. However, like an earlier stopgap bill, it continues to fund Planned Parenthood in addition to the health care reform law, the abortion-promoting United Nations Population Fund, other overseas abortion groups, and abortions in the District of Columbia. Funding for all of these had been cut in the original budget bill passed in the House but rejected in the Senate last week.

Pence’s sentiments may be a leading force behind growing discontent among other House conservatives as well. The Daily Caller reported Monday that a recent speech by Pence before the Republican Study Committee (RSC) galvanized opposition to the conciliatory path chosen by GOP leaders, and that many freshman lawmakers are “pissed,” as one GOP House aide put it.

While top conservatives appear split over the general strategy of allowing stopgap bills, Sen. Joe Pitts (R-PA) said yesterday that “more and more” conservative lawmakers were turning against House leaders’ handling of the process.

“There’s nothing wrong with making first downs, but at some point we need to get to the end zone,” said RSC chairman Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. However, he stopped short of saying he would vote against the measure. 

According to NBC, House Speaker John Boehner indicated that he didn’t plan to change course. 

“Listen, I understand some of our members want to do more. But what is it in this bill that they disagree with? Nothing. Nothing,” he said at a news conference Tuesday hours before the latest bill’s passage.

Another anonymous source cited by the Daily Caller as an aide among top GOP lawmakers said that leaders were leaning toward adopting an earlier version of the continuing resolution that contains only about half the cuts of the final version passed by the House, and also excludes the pro-life cuts added later in the bill’s development process.

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