Yesterday I pointed out how the Republican battles over the budget are not really over reducing the deficit. A new terrorist-demand from the far right does show how they remain dedicated to using the power of the state to infringe upon the rights of individuals–in this case the rights of women:
House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.
A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.
The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules…
Democrats say the measure is unnecessary because the administration has granted exemptions to contraceptive coverage to religious nonprofit institutions. But advocates, such as Huelskamp, insist that all institutions should be able to opt out of any preventative coverage for women that they find objectionable.
The addition of the “conscience clause” ties a heated social issue to the already sharp shutdown debate.
Not surprisingly, Tim Huelskamp is a member of the Tea Party Caucus
Once again, House Republicans who ran on a platform to increase jobs show that they are more concerned with fighting the culture wars than creating jobs–even when the result of their actions is to harm the economy and increase unemployment. This also shows that the Republicans are not serious about coming to an agreement (at least with a little time left before the last minute). They know there is no way that this measure will be accepted by either the Senate or the White House. Hopefully Democrats can use this to their advantage in pointing out the Republican opposition to birth control, which most Americans disagree with.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, nobody’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the Teabaggers are in session.