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Elizabeth Warren: The government shutdown was over birth control

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Tuesday blamed last October's government shutdown on Republicans wanting to deny women access to birth control.

No really. Warren said this on the Senate floor while defending the Democrats' deceptively titled “Women's Health Protection Act.”

“Remember last year's government shutdown that nearly tanked our economy?” Warren asked. “That fight started with a GOP effort to hold the whole operation of the federal government hostage in order to try to force Democrats and the president to let employers deny workers access to birth control.”

Um, no, sorry.

The government shutdown occurred over a continuing resolution to fund the government since no budget could be agreed upon. Republicans used the opportunity to try and defund Obamacare.

Republicans were upset over the Obama administration's selective enforcement of certain provisions in Obamacare. The main problem the GOP had at the time was the announcement of a delay in the employer mandate.

Warren appears to be getting her claim from a 2011 Huffington Post article, which said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House would not vote for any spending bill containing funding for Planned Parenthood.

But that was 2011, and the government shutdown was in 2013.

For that, we have to go to another Huffington Post article that said Republicans voted on a bill that would delay much of Obamacare for one year, including the so-called conscience clause that was at issue in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision.

Democrats want to claim that without Obamacare, women would not have access to birth control — as if they never had access prior to the law. But saying that specifically was the reason for the government shutdown is an extreme stretch.

Warren’s full remarks are below (in context).

In 2012, the Republicans tried to pass the Blunt amendment, a proposal that would have allowed employers and insurance companies to deny women access to health care services based on any vague moral objections.

Democrats said ‘no.’ The president said ‘no.’ The American people said ‘no’ to this offensive idea.

But instead of listening to the American people, Republicans in Washington doubled down.

Remember last year’s government shutdown that nearly tanked our economy? That fight started with a GOP effort to hold the whole operation of the federal government hostage in order to try to force Democrats and the president to let employers deny workers access to birth control.

Well, we rejected the hostage-taking. Democrats said ‘no.’ The president said ‘no.’ The American people said ‘no’ to this offensive idea.

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Ashe Schow

Commentary Writer
The Washington Examiner

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