Guest Column: Obama and Reid drive shutdown

Rodney L. Tahe
McKinley County Republican Party chairman

I write in response to Sherry Robinson: ‘Govt. shutdown has consequences here:’

“Never allow a good crisis go to waste,” said former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Robinson takes a page out of the Chicago Machine’s playbook in her criticism of U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce. She blames conservatives for pursuing a shutdown strategy when the only ones cooking up a shutdown are Obama and his obstructionist lieutenant — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

In his former years as Majority Leader, Reid was well-known for throwing sand in the gears of government. From 2009 to 2014 the Senate did not pass a single budget. Republican and bipartisan amendments were prohibited. Last year, the New York Times documented his “brutish style” and “uncompromising control.” In a loud rebuke, last November, voters rejected Reid’s obstructionism — giving Republicans control in the Senate.

Whereas this year the House passed 7 of 12 appropriations bills in an attempt to achieve “regular order” and open debate, the Senate Dems have repeatedly threatened to bottle up every appropriations bill if more spending and new taxes for the Internal Revenue Service, Environmental Protection Agency and other Reid favorites are not added. “We’re headed for another shutdown this summer,” Reid stated in June.

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Obama and Senate Democrats want to force “behind-closed door” negotiations between congressional leaders so that they can cut deals for their favorite special interest campaign supporters – e.g., public unions, Planned Parenthood and their environmentalist cronies seeking more subsidies like the Wind Production Tax Credit, or PTC. That’s the “D.C. way”, but it’s not the democratic process, nor is it open government.

At this moment, President Obama is threatening to veto a key funding authorization bill — the National Defense Authorization Act — that our troops and military families rely upon. That’s irresponsible and mean-spirited. By holding the military and our national security hostage, Obama and his ally, Reid, are saying that machine politics take precedence over people.

Congressman Pearce did not advocate shutting down the government earlier this year. He voted for a bill that fully funds the Department of Homeland Security, while also withholding funding for the President’s unilateral and unlawful executive order giving nearly 5 million illegal immigrants legal status.

In New Mexico Planned Parenthood operates 6 business locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Farmington — all urban areas. The Planned Parenthood president admitted in her House testimony that not a single Planned Parenthood health center or affiliate is licensed to provide mammograms. Nor do they provide other frontline services: treatment for hypertension, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, or other diseases or conditions.

If Planned Parenthood really cared about poor women and families, they would have locations throughout rural and small town New Mexico — e.g., Deming, Hatch, Artesia, etc. Congressman Pearce correctly notes that there is a better way: shift funding to the 165 federally qualified health centers and rural clinics that provide diagnostic and preventative care for the whole woman — not just one-dimensional reproductive health. Moreover, by rechanneling funding to these clinics, New Mexico’s poor and underserved women will have better prospects for preventative care.