Why Not Let Obama Shut Down the Government?

President Obama has announced that if the Republican Congress does not include $500 million for Planned Parenthood in the upcoming continuing spending resolution, he will veto the legislation and shut down the government. (Of course, for better or worse, only a small part of the federal government will actually be laid off and cease operations.) To which I say: is that a threat or a promise?

Republican Congressional leaders are ready to knuckle under–once again–and send $500 million to the sellers of babies’ organs, some of which were obtained by killing the babies after they were born alive. Planned Parenthood is currently under criminal investigation, yet the Republican leadership, knowing that virtually all Republican voters oppose funding Planned Parenthood, are prepared to pass the resolution the way Obama wants it, fearful that if they don’t do so, he will shut down the government.

I can’t follow the logic. Apparently they think that Republicans will be blamed by voters when the President vetoes legislation funding the government’s operations. That seems inconceivable to me. If Republican politicians are so bad that they can’t make clear to voters who closed down the government, we need new politicians.

Ted Cruz makes this point forcefully in Politico:

President Obama demands: give $500 million in taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, a private organization under criminal investigation—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down.

The core of this capitulation comes from Republican leadership’s promise that “There will be no government shutdown.” On its face, the promise sounds reasonable. Except in practice it means that Republicans never stand for anything. …

Today, Republican leadership is unwilling to use the current “must-pass” legislation, a continuing resolution, to honor our commitments to the voters. Instead, the president knows he can send Republican leadership running for the hills by uttering a single word: “shutdown.”

If leadership is correct that we can never win against the president, why did it matter to win a Republican House? A Republican Senate? If Republican majorities in Congress will acquiesce to and affirmatively fund the identical Big Government priorities that Obama supports, then what difference does it make who is in charge of Congress?

What difference, indeed? Apparently Republican leaders consider it logical that the president can dictate every line item in the budget that Congress adopts. Was that the view that the Democrats took when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were president? Right.

On the upcoming continuing resolution, we should fund the entire federal government, but we should decline to fund Planned Parenthood. And we should use our constitutional authority to actually try to stop this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.

Specifically, we should prohibit spending federal funds to implement the deal and eliminate the United States’ contributions to the United Nations, until the Obama administration complies with federal law and hands over the “side deals” governing the absurdly weak inspection regime.

But, many Republicans fear, we could never win this fight. The premise of that belief is that Obama will never, ever give in, so it must be Republicans who ultimately surrender. But, if we cannot win on these issues, with the facts overwhelmingly in our favor, then what possibly can we win? Nothing? Ever? …

We can win if we take the case to the American people. Show the Planned Parenthood videos. Stand united.

If Obama follows through on his threat to veto funding for the federal government, we should force him to defend that radical position. Planned Parenthood is a private organization, not even part of the government. That’s worth repeating.

Thus, President Obama’s position is that, if Congress doesn’t give a half-billion dollars to a politically favored private organization currently under criminal investigation, then he will shut down the entire government. Likewise, on Iran, his position would be that he is so committed to sending over $100 billion to the Ayatollah Khamenei—which would be used by jihadists to murder Americans and Israelis, and to accelerate the Iranian development of nuclear weapons—that he will shut down the government.

Both positions are clearly unreasonable. …

If Republican leadership actually tried to win, we would vote on one bill after another funding specific parts of the federal government. Fund it all, and let Democrats explain why they are filibustering funding for vital services to give $500 million to a private organization under criminal investigation.

Cruz is a brilliant guy, and this is Cruz at his best.


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