We have not seen this in the past. That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being implemented, and helps 30 million get health-care coverage.
—  President Obama • Pushing back against a variety of House Republicans’ demands, after Speaker Boehner announced intentions to attach yet another attempt at defunding the Affordable Care Act to a bill seeking to avert a possible government shutdown on September 30. The President also said that he won’t “create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy.” source
House Republicans Are Going After The Exxon Investigation
"It is remarkable that a do-nothing Congress that has refused to take any action on climate change is now attempting to disrupt this important investigation into potential corporate malfeasance."

Not content to let the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology’s reputation for hating science rest for even a moment, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has now subpoenaed the New York attorney general over his investigation into Exxon’s role in sowing climate denial.

House GOP Drops Vote on 20-Week Ban; Votes on Redundant Anti-Abortion-Funding Bill

In a surprising turn of events Wednesday night, House Republican leadership decided to cancel their Thursday vote on a 20-week abortion ban. The decision was largely driven by GOP Congresswomen who felt that the details of the ban were too harsh and would further alienate their party from young and female voters in 2016. The bill, which made the usual exemptions for rape, incest, and the life of the parent, did so in a more restrictive way than is usually attempted. The rape exemption only applies to survivors who have already reported their assault to the police (something that happens in only an estimated 35% of rape cases), and the incest exemption also requires prior reporting, but is only available to survivors who are 17 years old or younger.

During an interview, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of South Carolina described her hesitation on the restriction of the rape exemption. “The issue becomes,” she said, “we’re questioning the woman’s word. We have to be compassionate to women when they’re in a crisis situation.”

With similar concern, Congressman Charles Dent of Pennsylvania voiced his confusion on the logic behind the age limit of the incest exemption. “So the exception would apply to a 16-year-old but not a 19-year-old?” he questioned. "I mean, incest is incest.”

While the bill, titled the (medically inaccurate) Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is off the House floor for now, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey isn’t ready to give up on it. While speaking to the House Rules Committee, he said, “I would just briefly mention that the pain-capable legislation is only delayed. It’ll be up on the floor, it’ll be up on the floor soon. That bill, I promise you, will be back on the floor very, very shortly.” It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to make this happen given the dissention that has made itself evident within the party as they’re trying to make the GOP more palatable to younger voters before next year’s Presidential election.

Instead, the Republicans decided to vote today on a different anti-abortion bill, one called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. It passed by 242-179, with only one Republican voting against it and three Democrats voting in favor.

While the bill makes it sound like there is currently federal money being used to fund abortions, that’s just not the case- not entirely. What’s known as the Hyde Amendment has been routinely passed each year for decades and states that no federal funds may be used to assist poor women in accessing abortion services. The amendment does have exemptions for rape, incest, and the life of the parent, but the bill voted on today also allows for those exemptions. The only difference is that today’s bill would make the funding restriction permanent.

In addition, the bill also bans the federal government from subsidizing health insurance plans which offer coverage for one of the most common out-patient medical procedures in the country: abortion. One-third of American women will have an abortion by the time they are 45. Considering how many people of reproductive age are currently getting an affordable, reduced rate on their health insurance plans thanks to ObamaCare, the passage of this bill through the House is a national health concern.

Now that the Senate has a Republican majority as well, pro-choice and pro-abortion activists cannot rely on bills like this being restricted to one chamber of Congress. President Obama promised in Tuesday’s State of the Union address that he would veto any 20-week abortion ban, and while he’s very likely to veto this funding bill should it pass the Senate, reproductive rights in America are far from secure.
The Third Basic Fact That Every Government Shutdown Story Should Include

James Fallows says there are two basic facts required for every government shutdown story. First, if House Speaker John Boehner proposed a "clean" budget bill that didn’t try to defund Obamacare, it would pass today by a wide margin in the House, as it has already passed in the Senate, because all Democrats and enough Republicans would vote for it. Second, Boehner won’t do it.

A reasonable follow-up question is: Why not?

Read more.

House GOP members can't seem to remember that ACORN isn't a thing anymore
  • 2010 The community organizing group known as ACORN disbanded, following a national scandal which began after a video released by James O'Keefe appeared to show organization members giving tax avoidance advice to a young man (rather unbelievably) claiming to be a pimp to a young woman also seen in the video.
  • 2013 House Republicans add an amendment to a bill currently under consideration, which would ban ACORN from receiving government funding of any kind, for the thirteenth time since the organization folded three years ago. source

House Republicans Have Decided to Go Big Rather than Stop a Shutdown

We’re about eight hours from government shutdown, and not only is there little progress toward averting it – things seem to be moving backwards if anything.

Politico reports that House Republicans are considering a bill that would cancel health-insurance subsidies for congressional staffers and, more importantly, delay the individual mandate in Obamacare for a year. This is a slight concession for the right. First, hardliners demanded a total defunding of Obamacare. Then they wanted to delay it for a year. Now they just want to delay the individual mandate for year.

But make no mistake: It’s a proposal that will hasten a shutdown, not forestall it. The problem is that though Republicans are gradually reducing down their demands, they’re doing it far too gradually given the time remaining on the clock. A one-year delay of the individual mandate would have the same effect as delaying the entire law by one year, so there’s still no chance that Democrats will agree to it. Some Republicans seem to think that if they keep trying, Democrats might eventually cave. The problem is that there’s no evidence to suggest the Senate would ever accept such a radical alteration to the law, so voting for this plan this late in the day (it will be no earlier than 6 p.m.) is essentially an endorsement of shutdown.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]
House GOP Try To Sneak Abortion Restrictions, Wall Street Freebies Into Debt Ceiling Bill

Over and over again Republicans continue to play the same kinds of dishonest and underhanded games, in attempts to either sneak legislation past the voters, or worse, to blackmail them into swallowing their extreme religious doctrine, in exchange for doing…