When then-candidate Donald Trump was running for office, he stated repeatedly that building a border wall to better secure the nation was one of his top priorities, with defunding abortion-provider Planned Parenthood of federal tax dollars following closely near the top of the list.
However, as we near the April 28 deadline for the latest continuing resolution omnibus funding bill, it appears neither of those priorities will be met, much less satisfactorily addressed, according to CNS News. And that has Speaker of the House Paul Ryan once again catching some heat from the Republican base.
Funding for Planned Parenthood would have been cut in the withdrawn and still-being-worked-on Republican Obamacare replacement bill known as the American Health Care Act, but the funding has not been mentioned as part of the fight over the continuing resolution spending bill, likely at the direction of Ryan.
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In late March, The Hill reported that Ryan stated he didn’t want to tackle defunding Planned Parenthood in the omnibus funding bill, but rather as part of the standalone health care reform bill, largely due to the ability of the GOP to use a process known as reconciliation that would permit them to avoid a filibuster in the Senate.
Meanwhile, while Ryan has kicked that particular baby-killing can down the road, he also appears to have shrunk from a fight on funding for Trump’s proposed border wall, giving in to Democrat threats of a government shutdown instead of faithfully working to secure the border.
Likely recognizing the current lack of support among congressional GOP leadership for a high-stakes budget fight now, and with an eye toward an even bigger fight over spending in the future, the Trump White House saved some political capital and pulled back from its request for about $1 billion to get started on the wall.
TheBlaze reported that Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the administration was willing to work with existing border security funding in the stopgap omnibus measure for now, but that the wall still remained a top priority and would be addressed in the full budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins in October.
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“We’re not backing down,” Mulvaney said. “Keep in mind this is just, this bill is just for the last five months of this year. We’re actually, almost more than halfway through fiscal year ’17, we’re only talking about through the end of September.”
“The discussion for what to do with fiscal year ’18, which starts Oct. 1, the discussion actually starts as soon as this bill is signed, so we’re going to continue these conversations,” he added. “We just thought it would be a good first step to get these things that everybody agrees on and take the idea of a government shutdown off the table.”
Though there was sound reasoning from both Ryan and Mulvaney for avoiding a budget fight right now on a temporary spending measure that could lead to a government shutdown — which would inevitably be blamed on Trump and the GOP — both Congress and the White House need to understand that patience on these matters has run exceptionally thin among the base, and they are running out of excuses for delaying addressing these two extremely important issues for conservatives.
Paul Ryan had better get ready to undertake a fight over defunding Planned Parenthood and provide funding for a border wall — if he wants to keep his speakership, that is.
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