GOP Leadership Losing Steam for Birth Control Fight After Realizing They're Losing It?
After the Senate defeat of the Blunt amendment, which would allow employers to dictate their employees' health care, House Speaker John Boehner vowed to keep up the fight, to "continue to protect the American people’s right to their own religious views."
That was when they could still pretend that this fight was actually about religious freedom instead of being about icky lady parts, and before Rush Limbaugh blew that strategy all to hell. The zeal to protect religious freedom isdefinitely cooling.
House Republican leaders are taking their foot off the gas, slowing down plans to pass legislation taking aim at the Obama administration’s contraception coverage requirement, according to sources close to leadership. [...]
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” has been pending in the House for months, and it would likely pass easily if brought to the floor. More than half the House—219 members—have already signed on as co-sponsors to the bill, the companion to the measure defeated in the Senate last week sponsored by Missouri Republican Roy Blunt. [...]
Speaker John Boehner sounded notably cooler to the idea of pushing ahead with the Fortenberry bill almost as soon as it became clear that the Senate would defeat Blunt’s legislation. His spokesman Michael Steel, suggested Tuesday that it was up to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton to determine when the legislation would move forward.
So the House leadership has determined to keep the bill stuck in committee. What about the Senate, where Sen. Roy Blunt vowed that the "fight is not over. [...] I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress to protect the rights that make our nation great." Well, so much for that.
"You know, I think we've got as many votes as I think there were to get on that," Senate GOP Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt told TPM Tuesday afternoon after a weekly Capitol briefing. "I think the House side may take some further action. That debate will go on for a long time, though I don't know that there's anything else to happen in the Senate in the near future." [...]
More evidence that the GOP is ready to relent: Senate Republican leaders have abandoned what they once considered winning turf, and gone silent after weeks of publicly attacking President Obama and Democrats for infringing on religious liberties.
So it's going to be up to the culture warriors to force Republicans in Congress to keep up their fight for religious liberty! To your keyboards, commandos! Don't let those lily-livered electeds give up on this (losing) fight! Your religious liberties demand it.