On Thursday, the House took up the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. The bill would ensure that child marriage is recognized as a human rights violation, and develop comprehensive strategies to prevent such marriages around the world. The legislation seemed likely to garner strong bipartisan support in Congress, and in the Senate, it did. But last night, the bill was voted down in the House by Republicans who argued the bill is too costly and could lead to increased abortions -- gripes the measure's supporters say have no basis in reality and are just excuses to kill the popular bill.
The cost of this bill is $108 million. Not billion, million. Do you think for one minute that if castration of young boys was a worldwide practice that Republican males would hesitate one minute to fund strategies to prevent it?
The best response to this comes from Conor Williams at WaPo, cited in the above article, who says:
In its current form, S. 987 simply makes child development a key priority
within the existing U.S. international development agenda. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill could cost $67 million over five years, only if Congress appropriates this money later. But Republicans, led on the floor last night by Representative Dan Burton
(R-Ind.), are trying to block the bill's passage on the grounds that "the bill does not reflect current fiscal
This is a pretty cynical position to take, given that the bill doesn't actually appropriate any new funds. It's also worth noting that the potential appropriations that the bill might get later are minuscule in comparison to most budgetary items. How can Republicans explain efforts to defeat a human rights bill because of $67 million in potential spending while simultaneously pushing for a tax cut deal for wealthy Americans that will add $858 billion to the deficit? Is this at all credible?
I'd like to believe that over the next two years, Democrats will hammer over and over again that this is what Republican governance looks like -- feed the rich and starve everyone and everything else. There is no penny spent on anything that might do people some good here and around the world that won't be fought, and no tens of billions of dollars shoveled into the pockets of people who already have five houses, ten cars, and fifteen Cayman bank accounts, that's too much to spend.
This is Republican doctrine, folks. This is what they ran on. Republican doctrine is about taking care of the people who give Republican legislators the money -- and no one else. Not even the 9/11 responders they're telling to fuck off and die -- quickly.
As we head into a new decade, Jon Stewart is going to have to do more segments like these spotlighting the heinousness of Republican governance: