Summer is a time for vacations, beaches, and, if you’re in government, highway construction. Congress has been in delicate negotiations over highway construction funding for months and recently passed a temporary patch to avoid a lapse during the heavy construction months. Now presidential candidate Rand Paul is planning to make the next big highway battle over abortion:
Sen. Rand Paul is the latest lawmaker to throw a wrench into delicate transportation bill negotiations, suggesting he might hold up the legislation over the controversial Planned Parenthood video that surfaced this week.
The Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate released multiple statements Friday promising to use “all legislative vehicles” to “defeat and defund Planned Parenthood” next week. The statements on his Senate and campaign websites don’t directly mention the pending highway and transit legislation, but it is the next big-ticket item on the Senate’s to-do list, with a procedural vote set for Tuesday.
“The recent revelation that this taxpayer-funded organization is selling body parts of the unborn further proves that this agency deserves our scorn not our tax dollars,” he said in a statement. “I plan to do whatever I can to stop them and will introduce an amendment to pending Senate legislation to immediately strip every dollar of Planned Parenthood funding.”
Before Democrats jump all over Rand for “obstruction” or miring the bill in pointless fights, I’d like to point out something: First, a long term funding bill has been in danger for a while. Democrats have been threatening to hold it up for months in an effort to increase taxes for the highway fund or revive the Export-Import bank. After all that, Senate Democrats will have a hard time justifying attacking Rand for insisting the government not fund an organization accused of selling baby organs.
Rand Paul is taking a critical step by moving immediately to defund Planned Parenthood. I hope other Republican candidates will follow suit.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles in Action.