Via Think Progress
As usual, in addition to throwing out insults, conservatives are distorting and simplifying the facts.
In recent days, conservatives have been stepping up their opposition to any stimulus proposal that favors smart spending over tax cuts for businesses. To push their arguments -- which most economists have discredited -- they have tried to call out wasteful spending in the bill. Last week, for example, House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., went on a tirade about funding to revitalize the National Mall.
This week, the focus is on contraceptives. House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, has claimed that the package would spend "hundreds of millions on contraceptives." Yesterday on ABC's "This Week," host George Stephanopoulos asked House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., about the provision. Pelosi replied:
Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce
cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now, and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those -- one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.
Update Today on MSNBC:
Sen. James Clyburn (D-SC) responded to Boehner, saying that the family planning provision is part of the House's comprehensive effort to address health care in order to cut overall costs:
We just passed the State Children Health Insurance program that will expand health care for children by $4 million, taking us to a total of 11 million children. We are, in this legislation, looking at other aspects of Medicaid. We are looking at electronically storing health records, so that in five years all of that can be a part of the ordinary course of defense with health care. That saves millions of dollars in money. So I think that Mr. Boehner is looking for one little sound bite rather than looking at the total package here and seeing what it will do for the American people.
Update: Media Matters points out public support for family-planning programs is extremely high.