Republicans in the House of Representatives have offered to start funding the federal government again if President Obama orders an immediate ban on all abortions.
In a lengthy press conference this morning, House Speaker John Boehner hailed the idea as a compromise solution to the ongoing crisis and blasted Democrats for refusing to consider the proposal.
“Last night I spoke to the White House and offered the Democrats what I thought was a very reasonable compromise to end this government shutdown,” Boehner explained. “All President Obama has to do is immediately end all abortions in this country, and we’ll consider funding the government again.
“Now obviously we’re not dropping our demand that the president repeal Obamacare. But I think a complete and permanent ban on abortion would be a sign of good faith from the Democrats and an excellent starting point for negotiations.
“Unfortunately, the other side seems to be more interested in scoring political points than getting the government up and running again. The president and Harry Reid have refused to even sit down and talk about this idea. Like most Americans I am outraged by these political games and I hope the American people join me in condemning these reckless Democrats.”
Most forms of abortion have been legal since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which found that restrictions on the procedure violated the constitution’s right to privacy. Since then the issue has been one of the most decisive in American politics, with socially conservative Republicans continuing to press for increasing restrictions on the practice.
Today’s demand, however, is unusual because banning abortion outright is beyond the power of the presidency and would require a constitutional amendment. Nevertheless, some Tea Party conservatives believe that Boehner’s offer doesn’t ask enough of Obama.
“I think we can get a lot more out of the president in exchange for stopping the shutdown,” says Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL). “What about using the power of our military to stop abortions in other countries? What about eliminating the income tax for those making over $1 million a year?
“Speaker Boehner seems to forget that we’re holding all the cards. Republicans control one-half of the legislative branch. So we’re starting at 50 percent. Clearly we can negotiate our way to getting 97 or 98 percent of what we want. Forget Obamacare. Let’s ask Obama to eliminate Medicare too. We’re on the verge of achieving a historic victory, we can’t back down now.”