Image 01 Image 03

Ayotte Demands Answers from Cruz on Planned Parenthood Defund Push

Ayotte Demands Answers from Cruz on Planned Parenthood Defund Push

“How do we get 60 votes?”

Senator Ted Cruz has repeatedly accused his colleagues in the Senate of not fighting hard enough to defund Planned Parenthood.

The bill currently funding the government will expire on September 30, and Cruz has asked the other Republican members of the Senate to oppose any further funding bills that allocate money for Planned Parenthood. He’s willing to risk a government shutdown in what he insists is an attempt to ensure that no federal dollars flow to the abortion business; other Republican senators, however—even those who boast an ardently pro-life record—oppose this tactic, saying that it offers no path to victory (with “victory” being the actual defunding of Planned Parenthood.)

Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) recently penned a letter to Senator Cruz, asking him to explain how he plans to move from legislative opposition, to government shutdown, to the end of funding for Planned Parenthood.

More from CBS News:

“Given the challenges and threats we face at home and abroad, I oppose risking a government shutdown, particularly when it appears there is no chance of achieving a successful result,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, wrote to Cruz in a letter first obtained by local television station WMUR. “Nevertheless, as I understand it, you have been circulating a letter to our colleagues asking them to oppose any government funding bill that continues to authorize funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Senate Democrats have repeatedly said they would block any measures defunding Planned Parenthood, and the White House has issued veto threats against it. On Thursday, the Obama administration released a statement saying that the “threats by some Republicans to shut down the government and eliminate access to healthcare for men, women and families across the country is a game of chicken with our economy that we cannot accept.”

Now, it seems even Republicans are turning away from the proposals. In her letter, Ayotte further pressed Cruz on his “strategy to succeed” in gathering support for the measure, expressing skepticism that Republicans have the votes to pass it.

The New Hampshire senator is no supporter of Planned Parenthood. She voted last month to defund the women’s health organization, on a bill that only received 53 votes in the Senate — far short of the 60 votes needed to break the Senate Democrats’ filibuster.

Senator Ayotte’s letter has less to do with the political consequences of pushing for defunding-via-shutdown, and more with the lack of communication between Cruz and his Senate colleagues:

How do we get 60 votes?

And if for some reason there were 60 votes, how do we get 67 votes in the Senate to overcome a Presidential veto?

During the last government shutdown, I repeatedly asked you what your strategy for success was when we did not have the votes to achieve the goal of defunding Obamacare, but I did not receive an answer. I am again asking this question and would appreciate you sharing your strategy for success with all of us before any damaging government shutdown becomes imminent.

Even if we assume for the sake of argument that Ted Cruz is persuasive enough to convince pro-choice Democrats to sign on to a bill that defunds the ultimate poster child of pro-choice America, rhetoric counts for nothing unless it gets us closer to what we want to accomplish—namely the end of Planned Parenthood’s butchery-for-profit scheme. Cruz has no reason to hide the ball here. Republicans are behind him in principle—they just want to know how he plans on reaching the end zone he so adamantly insists is just within reach.

Kelly Ayotte is Ted Cruz’s colleague, and she’s asking him for his game plan.

This is a fair request. Cruz should respond to it.

You can read Sen. Ayotte’s full letter here.

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


“Kelly Ayotte is Ted Cruz’s colleague, and she’s asking him for his game plan.

This is a fair request. Cruz should respond to it.”

Noooooopa. This is something besides that. Ayotte could ask Cruz in person, via email, or on the phone for the same information if information was the goal here.

So writing a letter and making it public looks like a tactic with a purpose BESIDES requesting information. Ass-coverage for leadership, perhaps? Trying to make Cruz look like he has only taken a position without thinking perhaps? Poking him publicly so that he gives up more of his thinking than he would otherwise be prepared to do?

I think Cruz SHOULD respond to it. Very cannily. And I think he should watch his back.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | September 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    My first response to Senator Ayotte would be that; “First, we don’t concede defeat before we even really begin the fight. We also don’t show division before we begin the fight.”

    But since Senator Ayotte is in favor of funding planned parenthood, I doubt that tactic would work.

      Ayotte is McCain’s puppet.

      You lie. Ayotte is not in favor of funding Planned Parenthood, and you know it very well. But without 60 votes, a bill to fund the rest of the government without the payments to PP will not pass, and the government will shut down. That will be the Democrats’ fault, for filibustering the bill that would have funded the government, but we all know that not only will the media and the Democrats portray it as the Republicans’ fault, but also almost the entire general public will believe it. It will be impossible to convince anyone otherwise, just as it was every other time it’s happened.

        Can anybody point out any actual damage that was inflicted on anyone during the last “shut down?”

        Personally I think “shut downs” of the federal government are a good thing every now and then… they remind people that the world keeps on spinning without it.

          Milhouse in reply to Paul. | September 19, 2015 at 11:58 pm

          I agree, but the public imagines that they hurt many people, and the press play up whatever hurt they can find, and so they end up doing enormous political damage to the Republicans (and always to the Republicans, no matter who is on which side of the matter; when Reagan vetoed the Democrats’ appropriations the shutdown was his fault, but when Clinton vetoed the Republicans’ appropriations it was their fault).

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Ragspierre. | September 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Poor Rags,
    You deride the fact that someone cannot know that Fiorina was never offered a job –despite the fact that it would be all over the trade rags [1] faster then a Kim Kardasian affair would be all over the gossip rags, but you know for a fact that Ayotte never talked to Cruz, phoned him or email him.

    [1] Except for Apple. Apple can keep a secret. But Apple is never going to offer Carly a job.

      Poor Mouse. Aside from your OTHER insupportable bullshit….

      WHY would Ayotte be asking…in a PUBLIC LETTER…for information she already had?

      Logic is REALLY not your strong suit, huh?

      OR, arguendo, Ayotte being able to truthfully relate a prior attempt to get information from Cruz, how do YOU explain the omission from her letter?

      “Having tried on a previous occasions to ask you directly about your strategery, I now take the occasion to ask you in this form the same questions…”

      It’s DAMNED sure an allusion I’d put in MY letter, assuming I could say it truthfully.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Ragspierre. | September 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Amy, do your homework.

    Ayotte was helped into Congress by Gov. Palin and pretended to be a Conservative to get there. Once there, Ayotte proceeded to spit loogies in the faces of Conservatives. It is not that Cruz isn’t communicative; rather, it is that he is too communicative for the GOPE in his demand that they do what the electorate wanted. He won no friends by remaining Conservative. Cruz could’ve gone full Ayotte. He didn’t. He hasn’t.

    Ayotte is likely doing the GOPE’s bidding and trying to make Cruz look bad.

Anyone, besides me, notice that there is NEVER a path to victory for our republican representatives?

    Valerie in reply to betty. | September 19, 2015 at 10:01 am

    To pass a law, you need a majority in both Houses of Congress and agreement by the President, OR, a veto-proof majority in both Houses of Congress.

    Do you think the Republican party has these things in hand?

      iowan2 in reply to Valerie. | September 19, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Exactly how did Obama care happen? Oh yea, Dems pushed it thru. Their version, no Republican amendments, nothing. Republicans can do the same. Push their budget through, no Dem amendments. IF, IF Obama vetoes it, Obama shuts the govt down.


        stevewhitemd in reply to iowan2. | September 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        Except we all know that the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself) won’t paint it as “Obama shutting down government”. No, it’ll be the evil Pubs, as usual.

        I do get that the Pubs are skittish, they’ve been down this road before. I agree that in principle, you go fight, concede nothing, and if you fail, you fail. But that’s not how politics work.

        Fight so that the public thinks you’re fighters is good. Fight and win so that the public thinks you’re a winner is better.

          Well, Mr. we-can’t-win-so-we-sit-here, assuming that we cannot win this battle, if the GOP hadn’t been so anti-Trump he would be available to smack the MSM around on this issue should the demagogue games begin.

          But since the GOPe is first and foremost the stupidest clique since the Whigs, that support is unavailable.

          First rule of warfare is that your battle plan never survives first contact with the enemy. The corollary to this is that you cannot know the winner without running the race. Nobody has any idea how many donkey senators might vote to override if the front runner of the GOP race simly started calling each of them out by name. You must be aware that the average voter does not approve of second-trimester abortion and virtually all but a handful oppose third trimester abortions.

          That support will never be manifested in our representative republic unless ther is an effort to give them something to rally behind.

          Juba Doobai! in reply to stevewhitemd. | September 19, 2015 at 4:56 pm

          There is a word called “balls”, aka “testicles”, aka “gonads”. The GOPE ought to look it up.

        Milhouse in reply to iowan2. | September 19, 2015 at 11:04 pm

        How did 0bamacare happen? Very simple: the Democrats had 60 senators. Had they only 59 it would not have happened. It really is as simple as that. That is why Senator Brown’s election shut the process down.

        Milhouse in reply to iowan2. | September 19, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        Iowan2, without 60 votes the Republicans can’t push their budget through, and 0bama will not be presented with it. When the government shuts down his hands will be clean. The fault will lie with the Democrat filibusterers, but it’s impossible to explain that to the public when even you don’t understand it.

      Man, they’ve scrubbed Ronald Reagan’s ‘dead on arrival’ budgets of the 80’s from history, haven’t they?

      It’s not that the job is impossible, it’s that they don’t want to do it. They just want credit for caring while failing to do anything.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to JBourque. | September 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm

        They are cowards. Plain and simple. They know that they don’t have the MSM, even as irrelevant as they are becoming. They know that the liberal controlled Media will eviscerate them and unfortunately the ever growing number of uneducated louts will line up behind whatever the talkings heads tell them to do.

        Then there is the problem of not having the support of an even more cowardly leadership, who will throw them under the bus and “hit their knees and open wide” the moment Obumbles walks through the door.

        They are afraid of losing their seat and/or power so anything that is not a sure thing they will not commit to doing.

      jeffrey in reply to Valerie. | September 19, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Your logic is interesting to me. You grant a veto right to an opponent and deny it from yourself; your opponent is righteous to veto but you are unrighteous to veto.

      Why do you grant yourself fewer rights than you grant your opponent? Why do you exercise fewer rights than your opponent exercises? Are we not equal?

        Milhouse in reply to jeffrey. | September 19, 2015 at 11:09 pm

        What on earth are you talking about? Obama has a veto power. There’s no question about that. But as Ayotte points out it won’t even come to a veto if there are not 60 votes to pass the bill.

CausticConservative | September 19, 2015 at 8:21 am

I think it is fair to ask Cruz how he demands this situation be handled. He embraced the Underpants Gnome theory of political success in the government shutdown of 2013 and got nothing from it, and to this day seems puzzled that it didn’t work out the way he thought it would.

I love Cruz’s mind, but he has not demonstrated a lot of political aptitude in advancing his goals. It might be somewhat illustrative to puff his chest and show his TruCon bonafides against others on his own side of the aisle, but it highlights a tone deafness that makes it harder for him to pass legislation he wants. His colleagues deserve to be wary when he presses another episode of shutdown theater.

    “Got nothing from it”? Did you hear the one about 2014 elections? Because of his fight against the entire do nothing Congress we won in a landslide. But now Ayotte wants to do what McConnell does which is NOTHING! They always take the position that if we can’t do this then we can’t start this. Think of all the Davids in the world that would have never fought the giant if they had been Republicans!

      Yes, he got nothing from it. The 2014 victories had nothing to do with the shutdown, and happened despite the shutdown. The public still thinks the Republicans shut the government down, and blames them for it, just as they think Gingrich shut the government down in 1995. That’s the version that has come down in history, even though it’s wrong.

        A huge percentage of the electorate DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK about the vast majority of the Federal Government and would like to see it’s size reduced by 75%. To that segment of the electorate, the “shut down” was a beautiful thing. Try to get that fact through your skull. Yes, his willingness to shut it down had a large, direct, positive impact on the 2014 elections.

          Milhouse in reply to Paul. | September 20, 2015 at 2:01 am

          That isn’t true. The majority of voters are attached to some government program that they do not want touched in any way; if you phrase the question right you may get some of them to say they’re in favor of someone else’s program being cut, but once they begin to fear that it might affect their program even that support vanishes.

As much as it pains me to agree with anything Rags says, he’s right. What? Ayotte doesn’t have Cruz’ office number? She can’t call him and ask what his plan is so she goes public with her letter to him? Or is she just not smart enough to come up with a plan herself?

Perhaps her letter should have been to Mitch McConnell asking him why he can’t pass legislation using the majority rule. It’s not like we got Obamacare based on a super majority. And even if we can’t, let those Senators have a roll call vote on defunding PP and their selling of human baby parts. I can promise you, tens of thousands of Southern Baptists who vote Democrat won’t take lightly to their Senators voting to keep providing money to Planned Parenthood so that even more dead babies body parts can be marketed.

I also love how so many fall into the sky is falling trap if the government is shut down. It was shut down before. Did anyone really notice except the federal workers that were sent home only to be paid for the time they spent at home a couple of weeks later?

Shut it down; start with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities; the Department of Education; the EPA; the list goes on. Only fools do not know that the critical agencies, like Homeland Security, the military, et al, will continue to function.

    Milhouse in reply to retire05. | September 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    It’s not like we got Obamacare based on a super majority.

    Yes, it is exactly like that. How can you deny it? If there had been 41 Republicans in the senate, 0bamacare would not have happened.

Fully agree with Rags too! We’ve seen this sad excuse which she’s making too many times. Plan to lose, you will.

Wasn’t Kelly Ayotte one of the wonderful new Conservatives that came storming onto the scene, only to go on a boat ride with Chuck Schumer and suddenly lose all her principles?

There is value in VOTING to see how it comes out. There is value in putting up pictures of baby parts in petrie dishes while you stand in front of the CSPAN camera, and value in going to your district to awaken people to the crimes of PP.

When you get 3 feet of snow in your driveway and open your garage to find you can’t drive out, do you ask what good it will do to try to drive out? No. You get a snow shovel and reclaim your driveway, one scoop at at time, then you drive out.

It’s time to start reclaiming our nation’s soul, one vote at a time, until those who would vote to have taxpayers fund baby dismemberment have to defend THAT stance, not the other way around.

    Ragspierre in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Ezzzzactly right! PLUS, debating this will have the effect of providing SOME (a lot, actually) of the American people to these events, since the Mushroom Media have essentially embargoed the videos.

    It damn sure can’t hurt.

    It WOULD have the effect of prodding Barracula into showing…again…that he’s the most radical anti-life puke ever to hold his office. By far!

      Here’s a link to video No.7, I think.

      No, Carly wasn’t lying.

      Here’s the whole set of videos, and the background, too.

        MathMom in reply to Valerie. | September 19, 2015 at 11:22 am

        Yes. I went there and watched it with the sound off, but that is a live baby on the table. My. God. These people are ghouls.

          jayjerome66 in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 12:42 pm

          A live baby from where?

          That clip wasn’t taken at a Planned Parenthood clinic, you know that, right?

          Nor is there any verification it was an aborted fetus, as opposed to one from a miscarriage, you know that right?

          That clip, from an unknown source (Center for Medical Progress has so far refused to provide its origin), was spliced into the propaganda video to give the false impression it was performed at a PP clinic.

          Ragspierre in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 12:51 pm

          Got links?

          But we can ALWAYS count on our troll to apologize for abortion generally and Planned Abortionhood specifically.

          He assured us that unborn humans are just “womb vampires”, depending on your outlook.

          So he’s a post-modern monster of the must disgusting order.

          platypus in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm

          Hey jj666 you idiot – a miscarriage is a baby/fetus/cellsclump is born DEAD. If you can make a miscarriage do what’s in that video, it’s called LIFE-SAVING.

          Go back to the basement. I’ll pay for the cheetos & pizza if you will just stay there and stay out of here.

          Milhouse in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 11:35 pm

          That clip wasn’t taken at a Planned Parenthood clinic, you know that, right?

          No, we don’t know that. We know it was taken at an abortion clinic, but we don’t know which one.

          Nor is there any verification it was an aborted fetus, as opposed to one from a miscarriage, you know that right?

          Yes, there is verification. It was not a miscarriage. It was a baby who survived an abortion and was left to die.

          That clip, from an unknown source (Center for Medical Progress has so far refused to provide its origin)

          That is an outright lie on your part. The original video says, at the bottom of the screeen, where the clip came from: “Courtesy of Grantham Collection and Center for Bioethical Reform.”

          As for where CBR got it, the Federalist bothered to ask them, and got an answer. None of the critics bothered to ask, because they weren’t really interested in an answer.

    MathMom in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Uh…”petrie” dish = petri dish. Blush.

    inspectorudy in reply to MathMom. | September 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Two things to consider. One, Ayotte is running against a far left opponent and Two, she is from a very liberal state where planned parenthood is almost like a national institution. This is all about her getting re-elected. Does that surprise anyone? I have heard some of her views and she makes Susan Collins look conservative.

CausticConservative | September 19, 2015 at 9:51 am

Cruz’ has earned his reputation in the caucus as that of a grandstander. Even when there is broad consensus about a goal, people will be wary of his efforts to self-promote over getting the job done.

    It all depends on what your definition of “the job” is.

    I know that to a lot of people, “the job” is making sure the government keeps sending checks out, and the rest be damned. I don’t expect Cruz will overcome that.

    “Cruz’ has earned his reputation in the caucus as that of a grandstander.”

    This MSNBC/eGOP talking point is simply false

    “Even when there is broad consensus about a goal, people will be wary of his efforts to self-promote over getting the job done.”

    This is irrelevant and based on a false premise.

    How something gets done follows the goal to get something done. The eGOP does not want to end funding PP or do anything based on moral principles. Cruz cannot get the eGOP to even choose to do what is right. To hide behind “How does it get done” is the shield of a coward.

Elect a Republican President; keep both Houses of Congress. Pass the line-item veto, and pick your battles carefully, taking due care for the opinions of others (hard for a lot of people to do), or lose it all in two years.

    platypus in reply to Valerie. | September 19, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    The Congress lacks constitutional authority to pass or enforce a line item veto law.

    Milhouse in reply to Valerie. | September 19, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Even with a R president and both houses, the Ds will still have the legislative filibuster in the senate.

    As for a line-item veto, we already passed one in the ’90s, with Clinton’s support, and the Supreme Court struck it down. The only way to get one is to amend the constitution.

smalltownoklahoman | September 19, 2015 at 10:32 am

Kelly, if republicans don’t show a spine on something, anything, then how the h*ll do you expect them to ever undo any of the damage Obama and the dems have done to this country?

SHUT IT DOWN if that is what it takes, and do your best to inform the American people why you’re doing it. I think we’ll forgive you if you don’t want to be party to vile practices such as funding the illegal harvesting and sale of human body parts, especially since these are infant parts we’re talking about.

    Yeah, let’s shut it down!

    Then the media and the nation can focus on the distortions of fact promoted by the Center for Medical Progress Gotcha videos, and GOP Conservatives like Cruz and Carly and Carson (who really should know better) and other PLPs (Pro Life Propagandists)spewing them out as truth without bothering to investigate their inauthenticity.

    Right, give Hillary a Government Shutdown adrenalin boost in the poll ratings and election, and say hello to at least 4 more years of porous borders, as tacos overtake hotdogs in sales at ballparks.

      Ragspierre in reply to jayjerome66. | September 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Your hyperventilating aside, a couple of thangs, troll…

      1. withdrawing Federal funding would not “shut down” Planned Abortionhood. It WOULD, in fact, end one of the most corrupt games ever played with public money and the law: the FICTION that public funds DON’T subsidize abortions (which, you lying SOS, is illegal)

      2. “Then the media and the nation can focus on the distortions of fact promoted by the Center for Medical Progress…”

      Ewww…YAH! Throw us into THAT briar patch B’rar Fox! Please, please, PAAAAALEEEEEEEZE…!!!! Give us that kind of air-time and exposure! Wrong us! Wrong our brains out…!!!

      Whadda disgusting excuse for a human being. I hope you get a job as a shot-caller in your Collective!

        platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | September 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm

        Can’t we give him a job as a liaison btween ISIS and the rainbow boyz?

        Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | September 19, 2015 at 11:42 pm

        Rags, we’re not talking about shutting down Planned Parenthood, we’re talking about shutting down the government, because the Ds will prevent the senate from voting on any appropriation bill that doesn’t include this money.

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 20, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        Milhouse, we are NOT talking about shutting down Planned Abortionhood.

        Merely NOT giving them tax-payer money.

      In very rare cases I support post birth abortion. For JJ, I would provide this support. Ony a ghoul can support PP’s practice of baby murder, dismemberment, and sale.

Ayotte is such a huge disappointment. Why do the Republicans need 60 votes? Harry only needed 50. Time to pay him back for going nuclear. If they can’t fight on this, they are good for nothing.

    TX-rifraph in reply to PaddyORyan. | September 19, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I would go much further than “disappointment” in describing her.

    Also, there is no neutral ground defined by “doing nothing.” In battle, you fight against the enemy or you are supporting the enemy. There is no third option. Kelly is not on my side.

    Milhouse in reply to PaddyORyan. | September 19, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Why do the Republicans need 60 votes? Harry only needed 50.

    That is not true. Name the bill that Harry passed with only 50 votes. Go on. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist.

“On Wednesday night, House Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Lynn Jenkins, released a statement calling for the end of the 60-vote threshold, the first member of leadership to take that public stand.

“Harry Reid opened the door to this last Congress,” Jenkins said of Reid, who, as majority leader, employed the nuclear option to break the GOP filibuster of Obama’s judicial nominees. “It’s time Senate Republicans walked through that door.

“Our nation cannot afford a government continually held hostage by Democrats unwilling to hold a vote on the critical issues facing America,” Jenkins continued. “These votes are simply too important to continue to be ignored.”” — Emma Dumain and Niels Lesniewski

If not now, WHEN? If not for life, WHY?

Federal funds for killing unborn humans and subsidizing the criminal sale of their bodies is indefensible. (See the period?)

Go nuclear, you flucking cowards. Reid, that execrable POS, had the balls to put it to the American people. Have the balls to use it FOR the American people!

Or be damned.

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) is apparently a MORON who doesn’t understand how the appropriations process works, or someone on her staff (who likely ghost-penned the letter) doesn’t.

The Senate doesn’t NEED “60” votes to defund planned parenthood. They need 51. This is an appropriations bill. It is NOT subject to filibuster. It can be vetoed, but that does not shut down “the government” only the health and human services departments.

NO MORE “OMNIBUS” LEGISLATION. Pass budget and appropriations bills per regular business and let Obama veto if he dares.

    This is an appropriations bill. It is NOT subject to filibuster.

    What are you talking about? Where did you get that idea? If you’re that ignorant about the legislative process you should not comment on it.

In business and elsewhere, when a member of your team needs help, other members of the team are expected to step in and help. The person who hints he will help if he is assured the effort will be successful and he will look good is not a team player and quite low on the food chain in my world. Why is Kelly not helping Cruz solve some of the problems she sees? Leadership Kelly style? She has been given an assignment by the eGOP “leadership” I think.

    Milhouse in reply to TX-rifraph. | September 19, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    How do you help solve the lack of 60 votes? They won’t magically appear no matter what you do. And Cruz knows it, he just doesn’t care. His goal is not to achieve anything, it’s to puff his chest and look good for the donors and primary voters.

Cruz has repeatedly tried to get the Republicans to fight over SOMETHING. They always claim they can’t win so why even bother?

And it never occurs to them that as long as Democrats can count on pre-emptive surrender, that’s what they’ll do. If you want them to come to negotiate, give them a reason. Give them some hint that they won’t win by just doing nothing.

Fight so that they’ll think you’re fighters, not ciphers. Is that so hard to grasp?

Ayotte is serving the GOPe effort to marginalize Cruz and paint him as some sort of lone wolf political terrorist within the Senate. The GOPe finds Cruz as unpalatable as Trump. This writer has swallowed it whole. There’s a surprise, huh?

MouseTheLuckyDog | September 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Who is grandstanding? Both.
I will give Cruz credit his grandstanding looks a bit like Gingrich’s grandstandin before he became speaker. look how that worked out.

As for PP. The way to attack them is not to threaten to cut their funding. Rather, the way to attack is to start congressional hearings ( since the DoJ won’t do anything until elections ). The second prong is not to cut off funding directly, but to push for a law requiring Congress to confirm a lack of wrongdoing on the part of any organization accused and receiving funds. Failure to confirm means you lose your funds.

    Unfortunately there is both a logical fallacy there and a public relations fight:

    The logical fallacy is that you can’t confirm a negative without examining ~every~ piece of information (and it will never be made available). PP will hide behind “patient records privacy” shields to limit as much of the history and drag their feet as much as possible.

    The public relations fight is that the PP apologists will scream “innocent until proven guilty” (even though that doesn’t apply to funding, they will appropriate it because it is a simple concept for the low-information voter).

NC Mountain Girl | September 19, 2015 at 2:15 pm

By forcing a losing vote you also force your colleagues to go on the record. This often catches up with them the next election, especially if they talk moderate at home but vote in DC. There is nothing new in this. The late Jesse Helms was a master at proposing amendments just to get people on the record in order to shift the playing field in a more conservative direction in the long term.

Also,when people know what has been happening at Planned Parenthood, the are overwhelmingly against public funding.

CausticConservative | September 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

The budget bills cannot be filibustered, but they do need a 2/3 majority to override the promised veto. Ayotte is wondering whether Cruz has figured out where the votes from Democrats can be secured to get to 67 before he rushes headlong into another shutdown fight.

We all know he hasn’t. So all this is about is positioning for the blame. Cruz wants to blame his own party for not fighting, but the political reality is that he has the most leverage immediately before the shutdown and it dissipates immediately following the longer it drags out. Everyone understands this, except for those who think the next shutdown will always be the one to bring the Dems and their media fluffers to their knees. But to Cruz, it is a win-win. When it doesn’t work he can always elevate himself by blaming his old nemesis, the GOPe, knowing he can find a lot of popular support in it.

I remember wondering, when there was talk among Senators about replacing McConnell as majority leader early in 2014, why Cruz didn’t snap up the chance to call the shots up there. The above is why he didn’t. The majority leader doesn’t get to grandstand, and he has to herd the cats to win the votes. Not Cruz’s style!

Ayotte’s positioning is equally scurrilous to Cruz’s. Knowing there is no way to win the fight being set up, the Senate leadership is wanting it known who they want blame laid upon rather than find a way to defund without risking a shutdown.

I think the battle can be won, but not by making the focus of the issue a government shutdown. That is a layup for Obama and the media. The bill passed by the House this week is a great first step, because it maintains funding for the programs Dems say are important to them without funding their abortion sugar daddy kickbck scheme through PP. There is a good chance they could make that stick if everyone is on the same page and willing to lay the groundwork. But not everyone in this has the same goals. Keep in mind that PP writes big checks to Dems for a REASON.

Unless I hear from Cruz how his shutdown threat gets 67 votes in the Senate and 268 in the House to actually do what he says he wants, I think he’s just posturing like he was in 2013.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to CausticConservative. | September 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Yes, and we should not have entered WWII without prior guarantee of victory, and we should not have attempted to put a man on the moon without prior guarantee of success. Never start a political fight in unless you know you’ll win. After all, guaranteed wins in Washington are common, right? You just have to hold on and pick your shots, even if decades pass in the interim.

    To the extent you might represent moderate Republicanism, it is easy to see why the party is dying. Since it won’t fight and won’t adapt, it can only die.

      Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | September 19, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Or those grandstanding, irresponsible fools at Lexington and Concord! Don’t they think about what the British press will do to them? Why, it’ll put the cause back decades!

      One of the criteria for a just war is that there must be a realistic chance of winning. If there is not, then it is immoral to go to war in the first place.

    I think the caustic has eaten what little bit of brain you may have been born with.

    The R’s may as well just vote for reid as their leader. AT least they might be effective at something.

    The budget bills cannot be filibustered

    Where did you get this idea?

This is slightly off-topic, but why is the government funding Planned Parenthood at all? If it weren’t currently being funded, would Ayotte or any of the GOP PP cheerleaders be introducing bills arguing that we begin funding this private company that provides abortions-on-demand and is engaged in the vile, amoral, possibly criminal practice of selling baby parts? I’m not sure that she (or they) would.

I’m not a fan of corporate welfare, the majority of subsidies, etc., but I do think that if our government is going to invest in health care, actual health care, those Planned Parenthood tax dollars would be better spent on our veterans–whom we should be providing with government-funded health care–and getting the VA sorted out and working properly.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | September 19, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    That’s a great impulse, Fuzzy, but the VA won’t get fixed because it CAN’T get fixed.

    Just let vets have a voucher, and we’ll take good care to spend it well.

    why is the government funding Planned Parenthood at all?

    Because the Democrats put it in when they had the numbers, and now they refuse to allow a vote on any bill that omits that funding. And we know they’ll go to the wall for this, because their base demands it.

As when intimated, if not outright mentioned, during the debate, part of passing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood is making Obama veto it. Even if the Republicans know they cannot override the veto, there is power in the symbolism that they can force Obama to veto it and force him to ACT in order to perpetuate the horrors that PP performs. Doing nothing is also symbolic, it is symbolic of surrendering before shots are fired. Which is much of what we the people have come to detest in the current Congress. Pass the bill, get it vetoed by Obama, have the veto sustained because there are more than 40 Democrats, and then let the country know over and over and over again that Obama and the Democrats TOOK ACTION to keep the PP chopshops in business. That is certainly better than the climate of surrender that we have now.

I’m not sure what to think of the Cruz strategy/non-strategy. But while I was pondering the Office Depot refusal to print a prayer for the corrupt souls of Planned Parenthood employees and management, and the subsequent doubling down and walking back from OD corporate, I heard Glen Beck mention Moses’ exhortation to the children of Israel:

Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants …

Beck was saying we have reached the point where the evil of abortion has become so apparent that it is not possible for a company like OD, or for politicians, to placate both sides. It’s like the slave trade in Wilberforce’s England. Persisting in ignoring or abetting this evil is choosing death and curses. There are limits to God’s patience. It took Wilberforce 20 years to end the slave trade. We have had unlimited abortion for 42 years.

Pass the defund bill with 51 votes!