Today, as reported by our colleagues at ThinkProgress, three anti-choice Republicans have urged House Speaker John Boehner to drop the rider seeking to defund Planned Parenthood around which the stalemate on the budget and government shutdown revolve.
"While many Republicans are committed, writes Tanya Somanader, "to holding up the budget over a social issue, at least three anti-choice Republicans are recognizing the absurdity of such an obstacle."
Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and — surprisingly — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) have signaled a willingness drop the policy rider to reach an agreement and avoid a shutdown.
As ThinkProgress reported, Toomey told MSNBC on Thursday: “I think what we should do is cut spending as much as we can, get the policy changes that we can, but move on, because there are other, bigger battles that we are fighting.”
Speaking on MSNBC Wednesday, Coburn said: “And my recommendation to my friends in the House is, you know, it’s highly unlikely that many riders are going to get passed with a Democrat president and a Democrat Senate, so why don’t you take the spending and let’s get on to the budget.”
And speaking to John King of CNN yesterday, Bachmann said: “I think that we should have a clean bill that makes sure that the paychecks get to the troops on time.
The “clean bill ” Bachmann called for is exactly what the Democrats offered yesterday.
Could it be that all three understand that the vast majority of people in the United States need, use, and want reproductive health services, and that demolishing a program that serves anyone in need would be costly?
While their motivats are not clear, Somanader writes that "Republicans like Rep. Jeff (R-AZ) are intent on passing the misguided rider regardless if it results in a shutdown — a position that, as the Washington Monthly Steve Benen notes, reveals the GOP as a party that “isn’t just shutting down the government, it’s shutting down the government for a ridiculous reason that the American mainstream will find absurd.”