Rep. Bonner Won’t Say If He’ll Vote for Long-Term Budget That Permits Funding of Obamacare, Planned Parenthood

March 17, 2011 - 5:16 PM

John Boehner, Eric Cantor

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio looks on as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. speaks about repealing President Barack Obama's health care law at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – Although Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) voted on Tuesday for the continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded for three more weeks, he did not say whether he would vote for a long-term budget for the remainder of 2011 if it permits funding of Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, as the current CR does.

On Tuesday, the three-week CR passed in the GOP-dominant House 271-158, but 54 Republicans voted against it, many of whom opposed its ongoing funding for Planned Parenthood and $105.5 billion for Obamacare.

On Capitol Hill before the vote, CNSNews.com asked Bonner, “If there is a long-term budget that comes to the table, if it does not prohibit funding for, to go towards the health care law, if it does not prohibit funding to go towards Planned Parenthood, will you still vote for it?”

Bonner said, “I don’t like to speculate.”

CNSNews.com also asked Bonner if another CR comes up for a vote in three weeks and it also permits funding for Planned Parenthood and Obamacare, would he vote for it. He did not give a definitive answer.

Bonner said, “Well, hopefully we’re not going to be in that position. Hopefully, if we get this CR passed then this is the line in the sand, and it’s time for the president to get in this game and lead, and it’s time for Senate Democrats to get real. 

“And so the reality is that to speculate on what might happen with another CR after this one, I think that all of the members I know who are going to vote on this are holding our nose and doing it because we believe we are near the end of the negotiation. But right now, President Obama and Senator Reid don’t appear to be interested in sitting at the table,” he added.

CNSNews.com further asked Bonner, “What are the other options to pass a long-term budget in three weeks – what are the chances that another CR won’t be necessary?”

The congressman said, “I hate to even speculate on that. You know, this is March Madness – not just for basketball and craziness that goes across the country in terms of who’s favorite team is in the tournament, who’s going to win the tournament – we don’t know if there will need to be another CR. But I’m just telling you, I don’t think there are any Republicans that want another CR beyond this one.

“Will we have to have one?” he asked. “Time will tell. But I think the message to our leadership and really from our [Republican House] leadership today is that we’re doing this out of necessity, not out of desire.”

While 54 House Republicans voted against the CR on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) voted for the measure.

Several days before the vote, Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) sent a letter to the House GOP leadership urging them to include language in the CR that would rescind all funding for Obamacare, estimated by the Congressional Research Service to total $105.5 billion.

The CR, as it was written, “leaves on the table $105.5 billion in automatically appropriated funds for the law's [Obamacare’s] implementation,” the letter said. “We cannot successfully defund Obamacare without shutting off these automatically appropriated funds.”

Further, “The success of our effort to shut off funding for Obamacare will hinge on the leverage points of this first session of the 112th Congress – namely the CR, which expires on March 18th, and the vote on raising the debt ceiling,” King and Bachmann wrote.