By Tony Perkins
Originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update on May 3, 2017
Tony Perkins is the President of the Family Research Council (FRC)
Abortion Caucus on the Write Track …
If the White House wanted to write up a list of pro-life successes, there’s no need! The Left did it for them. In a letter of complaint that reads more like a social conservative victory report, a group of House Democrats wrote to Donald Trump to express their disappointment that the President has done exactly what he promised on abortion.Led by House Pro-Choice Caucus Chairs Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the liberals grumble:
As Members of Congress committed to advancing health and economic security, we find it especially unacceptable that your administration has prioritized:
- ‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood
- Attempting to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
- Global Gag Rule
- Eliminating U.S. Funding to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- Appointments that Jeopardize Women’s Health
- Confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice Who Puts Roe v. Wade at Risk
- Attacks on Title X Family Planning
- Budget Priorities
If your administration began to listen to the people it represents, then you would reverse your harmful agenda.
But that’s just it. Donald Trump did listen to the people—and it’s in large part why he won the election. As Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pointed out just this week (to the dismay of plenty of pro-abortion groups), social values are what propelled a candidate everyone counted out to the highest office in the land.
That’s why Donald Trump is President of the United States (the House Minority Leader told reporters). Evangelicals and the Catholics. Anti-marriage equality, anti-choice. That’s how he got to be president (Pelosi said). Everything was trumped, literally and figuratively by that.
Ironically, the Left seems to recognize what some conservatives do not: that this president is absolutely determined to defund Planned Parenthood. He reminded people again last night:
I said I wouldn’t fund Planned Parenthood, and at the appropriate time things will happen.
But that appropriate time was not the omnibus spending bill, as some pro-lifers have suggested. As a movement, we have to fight for what’s right on every piece of legislation—but we also have to use the right weapon to do it. There’s a reason that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Republican leaders didn’t try to end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood in the package of 11 appropriations bills.
The omnibus requires 60 votes, whereas the budget reconciliation measure—which is how Republicans are replacing Obamacare and defunding of Planned Parenthood—only needs 51. Without a supermajority in the Senate, there’s absolutely no way the language would survive the 60-vote threshold. And even if it did, adding that provision to the omnibus wouldn’t affect a single cent of the mandatory spending programs, which also finance Planned Parenthood.
While I understand pro-lifers’ frustration, it’s a little short-sighted to complain about the omnibus when the real victory on America’s biggest abortion business could come as soon as this week—through a vehicle that’s already proven to work. Help make that a reality by contacting your congressman and encouraging them to save dollars and lives with the America Health Care Act!