by Erik Halvorson
Last Friday with the stroke of the presidential pen, the United States’ national debt hit $20 trillion for the first time in the country’s history. President Trump diverted from the path laid out by Republican Congressional leadership in order to make a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that extended the debt ceiling for a three-month period in order to provide immediate relief to Hurricane Harvey victims as well as other short term spending.
Coming on the heels of the President’s prudent action in regards to DACA, this move is very troubling. Besides setting a precedent of recanting on campaign promises, Trump’s decision also shows a willingness to adopt Democratic policies instead of attempting to work with Republicans to advance conservative ones. With this deal, President Trump and many members of Congress continued the flippant practice of financing overzealous government spending at the expense of future generations. Worse yet, as part of the deal, President Trump allowed for the continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood for at least another three months.
With the continuing resolution signed by President Trump on Friday, the federal government will legally be allowed to continue borrowing money until December 8th, two months into the 2018 fiscal year. By law, the government will continue to spend at the same levels and for the same purposes until this date. This means three additional months of federal funding for Planned Parenthood — during which time 75,000 more lives will be extinguished via abortion, subsidized by the American taxpayer.
This is unacceptable. Throughout his campaign and time in office, President Trump has vehemently defended the rights of the unborn and promised to do everything in his power to end federally funded abortion — a promise now broken. Even more upsetting, this comes mere months after the President’s budget proposal which called for a complete defunding of Planned Parenthood.
However, Trump is not the only one to blame; so-called “pro-life” congressional Republicans failed to create and pass an adequate budget, leading to the latest budget crises and Trump’s foolhardy action. By continually failing to pass a budget for the 2018 fiscal year, Republicans have shown they are only willing to defend life when it is politically expedient. Unlike other issues facing the country, the legalization and funding of abortion is directly leading to thousands of deaths every day. As a college aged student, I am a part of a generation where 1 out of every 4 people conceived is aborted.
Rhetoric cannot end this atrocity; only action can. If Republicans cannot find it in them to defund Planned Parenthood with complete control of both the Presidency and Congress, then they are not fit to serve and lead our great country.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore