If the federal government is shut down at the end of this month, the blame may fall on Republicans trying to defund Planned Parenthood.
Congress has until Sept. 30 to pass a spending bill before funding runs out, but more conservative Republicans want to block any funding for Planned Parenthood from being included.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) hopes moderate members of the majority party don’t go along, and a repeat of the 2013 shutdown can be avoided.
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“Innocent people will suffer as a result of it, and they’re threatening to do it all over again,” Durbin said. “I just hope that cooler minds prevail and that we can work out some way to do the basic services of this government. Save the debates for other issues.”
But Durbin is wary of past instances where pro-shutdown politicians have gotten their way.
“This has become a test of Republican manhood now,” Durbin said, “with all of these presidential wannabes, each is trying to be tougher than the next. They want to start the next war, or they want to next war in Washington.”
The House has passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood without tying it to the all federal spending. Two Illinois congressmen voted against the majority of their party on the measure: U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) was one of three Republicans to vote against it, while U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Chicago) was one of two Democrats to vote in favor of defunding.