Has the issue of whether or not the federal government will shut down later tonight really come down to this?
If Congress fails to reach a budget deal, the government will shut down at midnight tonight — an event that would hinder economic recoveryand withhold payment to soldiers. But congressional leaders are at loggerheads over one issue: family planning. Though it has zero impact on the federal budget, House Republicans are insisting that Democrats agree to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood or make billions more in cuts.
From the Roman Catholic Church to the United Church of Christ - two denominations that disagree on the issue of abortion - the issue has been clear, as it has from religious leaders across the country with the exception of the far fringes of the religious right, the federal budget must promote the common good, help people lift themselves out of poverty, protect the middle class, and advance efforts to reverse the impact of human caused climate change.
Republicans should stop trying to use the budget to advance their campaign to undermine women's health care and environmental protections - and President Obama and congressional Democrats need to forcefully protect health care, anti-poverty efforts, community development programs, and the hard won successes from the president's economic policies that are finally turning the economy around after eight years of GOP rule.