ONTD Political

Officials: Family planning money may be dropped

By DAVID ESPO and ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writers David Espo And Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writers – 11 mins ago

WASHINGTON – House Democrats are likely to jettison family planning funds for the low-income from an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, officials said late Monday, following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation.

Several officials said a final decision was expected on Tuesday, coinciding with Obama's scheduled visit to the Capitol for separate meetings with House and Senate Republicans.

The provision has emerged as a point of contention among Republicans, who criticize it as an example of wasteful spending that would neither create jobs nor otherwise improve the economy.

Under the provision, states no longer would be required to obtain federal permission to offer family planning services — including contraceptives — under Medicaid, the health program for the low-income.

Democrats considered the politically-potent change as congressional budget experts estimated it would take slightly longer for the overall legislation to achieve an impact on the economy than the administration projects.

The Congressional Budget Office said the economy would feel the effects of almost two-thirds of the money over the next year and a half. The administration claims 75 percent of the funding would be absorbed in that period of time, and Obama has pledged that the bill he signs will meet that target and either save or create up to 4 million jobs.

While the debate surrounding the overall impact of the measure pits economists and their statistics against one another, Republicans quickly seized on the family planning money as evidence that the Democrats were advancing an agenda that went beyond the economy.

"How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives how does that stimulate the economy?" House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio said on Friday after congressional leaders met with Obama at the White House. "You can go through a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with growing jobs in America and helping people keep their jobs."

Several Democrats said Monday night that Obama had spoken personally with Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., about removing the provision. Waxman is chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over Medicaid and a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The Democrats who described the likely reversal did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to disclose developments not yet made public.

Obama's request to House Democrats underscores the administration's desire to signal a spirit of bipartisanship, a recurring theme for the president in his first week in office.

Whether it also succeeds in gaining votes is unclear, particularly in the House, where GOP leadership has advanced an alternative that consists almost exclusively of tax cuts. The only new spending in the Republican plan is to maintain the current system of up to 33 weeks in unemployment benefits for several additional months.

By contrast, the White House-backed bill includes about $550 billion in spending and $250 billion in tax cuts.

Much of the funding in the Democratic bill is ticketed for health care and education, as well as money to weatherize buildings and build highways and other transportation projects.

A companion measure is making its way to the Senate floor for a vote next week, and congressional leaders have pledged to have legislation ready for Obama to sign by mid-February.

White House Budget chief Peter Orszag said in an AP interview that he's confident that the more ambitious target can be met for getting money into circulation in the economy, especially with changes likely to be made in the bill before it reaches the White House.

"With appropriate attention and proper management, you can both get the money out the door ... and still have well-selected projects," Orszag said.

"I don't see how that's possible," said Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "They'll be just pouring money down on the ground if they achieve that goal."



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sunoftheskye OT - Holy shit, Woman gives birth to Octuplets27th-Jan-2009 04:54 am (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
schexyschteve Re: *seethes*27th-Jan-2009 05:09 am (UTC)
You said it much better than I could have.
silverfox1027 I hate Democrats27th-Jan-2009 05:14 am (UTC)
So glad to know that Republicans won the election after all.
sunoftheskye Re: I hate Democrats27th-Jan-2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Seriously, like...the Republicans win, the Republicans win. The Democrats win, The Republicans win. What the fuck is the point?
curseangel 27th-Jan-2009 05:18 am (UTC)
Oh, they had better not drop that fucking provision. *rages*
layweed 27th-Jan-2009 05:23 am (UTC)

"How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives how does that stimulate the economy?" House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio said on Friday after congressional leaders met with Obama at the White House.

I totally see his logic. Less contraception = more babies = more spending on baby goods = stimulating the economy. Except it doesn't quite work that way.
firerosearien 27th-Jan-2009 05:24 am (UTC)
I have faith that if it doesn't get passed in this bill it will get passed in another one.

Obama does have, you know, four years to get this done...
silverfox1027 27th-Jan-2009 05:38 am (UTC)
It's a possibility, as econ experts have said that we're probably going to need more than one stimulus package.

That said, the seemingly useless round of "negotiations" (which always seem to end up in the favor of the GOP) is frustrating.
jwaneeta 27th-Jan-2009 05:26 am (UTC)
OMFG. I keep trying to think that Republicans aren't, as a group, madmen intent on destroying the world, but they keep saying shit like this.
djshiva 27th-Jan-2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
i can't say it enough. they don't care. they don't care about anyone but the super-rich corporations that stuff money into their fucking pockets.

they don't care.

they ARE madmen intent on destroying the world, as long as they can make a profit off of it.
shirozora 27th-Jan-2009 05:27 am (UTC)


And I was so happy when Timmy got approved by the Senate.
merry_loon 27th-Jan-2009 05:29 am (UTC)
Fuck those bullies.
vast 27th-Jan-2009 05:30 am (UTC)
well fuuuuuck that noise.
sabzi_nic 27th-Jan-2009 05:33 am (UTC)
URGH. typical.
shuraiya 27th-Jan-2009 05:33 am (UTC)
This shit is just ridiculous.
mollywobbles867 27th-Jan-2009 05:37 am (UTC)
Fuck you guys, I'm going home.

Argh, I feel a rant coming on.

What the fuck is the point of a Democratic majority when they just vote the way the motherfucking Repugs want? Why the fuck do we even bother? Did they miss this election? Did they notice that we want them to fucking put their fucking big kid boots on and fucking walk like Nancy Sinatra? Jesus fucking shit.

Edited at 2009-01-27 05:42 am (UTC)
germli 27th-Jan-2009 07:22 am (UTC)
iawtc x 1515085161E1805185999

with that said I'm just going to ignore this comm and the news. i have a feeling the next time i read an article like this i will seriously flip my shit.
ohhhmandy 27th-Jan-2009 05:43 am (UTC)
oh fuck this. they're never going to grow a pair
silverfox1027 27th-Jan-2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Heh, I sent a message to WH.gov before the edit.
ccf_8002 27th-Jan-2009 06:15 am (UTC)
maybe you should link them to ontd_p. fuck what the other party wants.
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