Monday, March 2, 2009

Family Planning is Back in the Budget! And the Budget is on it's way!

(The President Loves Kids, but He Thinks Even Poor Women Should Get to Plan How Many Kids They Want and When They Want Them)

During the debate over the stimulus bill, the Republicans succeeded in getting a provision stripped from the house version that would have made it easier for states to expand coverage contraceptives through Medicare. Basically, it makes it easier for poor Americans to access things like birth control pills. It was stripped because the GOP didn't think it was stimulus, even though preventing unwanted pregnancies saves Medicare money in the long run, and we needed their votes on the Recovery Act.

BUT, they're back! The President has put the measure back into the budget bill and it will be much harder to get out this time.

Why will it be easier to keep in the budget? Because the budget is going to be a lot easier to pass. That's the fun part about being the majority. You see, normally, to get a bill through the Senate you need a 60-vote majority to force the members to stop filibustering and agree to have the Senate vote (yes, you need a vote in order to have a vote. It's Congress.).

BUT, for budgets, the 60-vote rule is suspended. You only need a simple majority to pass budgets. And the Dem's have that. So it's going to be impossible to stop the budget in the House and very, very, difficult to stop it in the Senate.

Which is great, if you support the budget measures for things like inexpensive and accessible contraception for poor women and girls.

Good work, Mr. President. Thanks for keeping your promises.

Read all about it here