The beleaguered highway funding bill will suffer another monkey in the wrench as Kentucky senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul pushes an amendment that would defund Planned Parenthood.
“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. 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,” Paul said in a campaign statement.
What does Planned Parenthood have to do with the federal highway system?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Planned Parenthood is not "selling body parts," but the accusation, which a significant portion of the Republican voting base will believe anyway, makes for a very sexy campaign statement.
If you haven't been keeping up -- House Republicans could not whip enough votes among their own caucus to pass a highway bill funded by a voluntary tax, and Senate Republicans still have no idea how they will fund their highway bill. Neither the House or Senate version of the bill had a chance of passing through both chambers and the president's desk which is why House Republicans chose to pass another temporary extension of the status quo.
Rand Paul will complicate matters further with an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.
To put it another way, Rand Paul will effectively kill the Senate's highway funding bill and guarantee that Planned Parenthood won't be defunded.
I don't know if we should thank him or what, but I do know the highway funding drama isn't over yet. This dysfunctional, congressional shitshow game of musical chairs may have a third act.