Democrats are selling a line that ideological riders are the only thing preventing them from backing the Republicans' temporary spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown. The problem with this narrative is that it isn't true. John McCormack was on the Hill yesterday, and shared this over at our sister publication, The Weekly Standard:
[T]he GOP one-week CR/troop-funding bill doesn't include the rider regarding "clean air"—i.e. EPA regulations of carbon dioxide emissions—and it doesn't include the Pence amendment banning contraceptive funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
The only two riders in the Republican stopgap measure are a provision banning funding to move Gitmo detainees to U.S. soil and a ban on taxpayer-funding of abortion in the District of Columbia.
Reid hasn't said anything about Gitmo, so I asked him during today's press conference if the reason he and the president oppose the one-week CR is because it bans taxpayer funding of abortion in D.C. Reid suggested there were other riders as he headed for the door, but didn't specify which ones despite a couple followup questions. (You can watch the press conference here.)
"It's the riders that's the whole issue," Senator Chuck Schumer (D, N.Y.) told a gaggle of reporters after the press conference ended. So I asked Senator Schumer which particular riders he's talking about in the CR:
TWS: What are the riders in the CR—
SCHUMER: No, you've already asked 3 or 4 questions
TWS: You haven't answered the question, sir.
If ideological riders are the problem, then you'd think that they could give at least one specific example. If you want to search for them, here's the bill -- the defense part ends on page 163, and in the 60 pages that follow you can see the cuts being made to other agencies. Only two riders remotely considered "ideological" -- the ones that McCormack notes -- appear anywhere. The D.C. abortion rider is on page 182. (The Gitmo rider which a Democratic Congress originally passed last year, is in the defense section on page 119.)
Possibly the most controversial rider, the one preventing taxpayer funding for abortions in D.C., had been the law for 14 years prior to 2010. It was never a deal-breaker for Democrats before now. So just what are they talking about when they discuss ideological riders?
Doesn't this prove that they're really angling for a shutdown, in which they perceive a large political benefit for themselves? Never waste a crisis, I guess.