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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Boehner and Pelosi Unite to Pass Bill Funding Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, Syrian Revolutionaries

"We don't got no need for stingy, peace-loving American cry-baby Christians in dis here congress." Whatcha gonna do 'bout it, huh?  [raucous laughter in background]
September 17, 2014 - 10:07 PM

John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi
Incoming Speaker John Boehner kisses
out-going Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

( - House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) joined forces early Wednesday evening as the House passed a continuing resolution that will fund the government after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and that will permit funding for Planned Parenthood (the nation's largest abortion provider), the entirety of Obamacare, and an amendment requested by President Barack Obama "to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition."
The bill passed 319 to 108 with four members not voting. But there were not enough Republican members to pass the bill without significant support from Democrats. While Pelosi sided with the Republican leadership and voted for the bill, 53 Republicans joined with 55 Democrats in voting against it.
In addition to Pelosi, some of the other Democrats voting for the Republican leadership's bill, included Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schlultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D.-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D.-Ore.), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.).

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) were among the Republicans who voted against it.

The Syrian opposition, which is seeking to overthrow the secular authoritarian regime of Bashar al Assad, includes al Nusrah Front, the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), which used to be an al Qaeda affiliate and now controls parts of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS recently beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker.

The training and arming of Syrian rebels is aimed at combating ISIS and Islamist terrorism, so ISIS and al Nusrah Front would not be among the Syrian rebels deliberately armed and trained by the new U.S. policy authorized by this bill.

The bill will fund the government through Dec. 11, when a "lame-duck" Congress, which will include members thrown out by the voters in November, will be able to return to Washington and vote for programs and governmental actions that they may not have wanted to vote for before the election. 

That new funding bill will also be passed before the newly elected members of Congress will be sworn in and have a say in what the government does.

Before the inclusion of the amendment to train and arm revolutionaries in Syria, the House Appropriations Committee had described the continuing resolution as a "clean" bill that did not include riders affecting current spending programs and policies. The committee affirmed to last week that the bill does not prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood or for any element of Obamacare.

Twenty-four minutes before it voted on this final spending bill, the House voted on the amendment sponsored by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.) that added to the bill the authorization for President Obama to arm and train the Syrian revolutionaries. That amendment passed by a vote of 273 to 156, with 3 members not voting.

Pelosi and Boehner joined together to vote for the amendment to arm and train Syrian revolutionaries, as did House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif) and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R.-La.).

Among the 71 House Republicans standing in opposition to Pelosi and Boehner and the other Republican leaders on this amendment were Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), Rep. John Fleming (R.-La.),  Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Tex.), Rep. John Duncan (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R.-Ky.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R.-Wisc.) Continue reading