The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, November 21, 2004

Anti-abortion rider added to omnibus appropriations bill

A maximum of temptation and a maximum of opportunity.

I mentioned earlier today the notion of the politique du pire: a plan that needs things to get worse in order to work - and often gives them a shove to help them on their way!

It seems to me that appropriations bills function on a similar principle: agreement is delayed until the last possible moment in order that divisive, partisan, corrupt or otherwise undesirable measures can be sneaked in just as the government is about to shut down for lack of money (Gingrich alert!), with no possibility of being made subject to a separate vote.

A example of the technique in operation came yesterday with the omnibus bill: conferees agreed to insert an amendment that
would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals.

Scarcely earth-shattering on its own; but very much of piece with, for instance, the so-called Laci and Conner's Law (February 27) in a campaign to chisel away from every angle at the effectiveness and legitimacy of abortion rights.

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