Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Traitor In Our Battle To Stave Off The Republicans' War Against Women-- Dan Lipinski


The DC Democratic Establishment was out in force with a message yesterday: Stand Up For Women. They even have a nifty new Facebook page with pictures of Democratic heroes who do stand up for women-- like Jerry Nadler, John Conyers, Anthony Weiner, Louise Slaughter, Jackie Speier, Gwen Moore, Nita Lowey, Diana DeGette, and other members of the Pro-Choice Caucus. Understandably, you won't find a photo of Cook County's most conservative Member of Congress, Dan Lipinski (D-IL). You see, what they're all exercised about is the latest GOP anti-Choice craziness, which would force the IRS to conduct abortion audits. It's clearly a Republican bill but, like a lot of really extreme Republican bills, it can be called "bipartisan." That's because Boehner and Cantor have a patsy in the Democratic caucus: Lipinski. This is only the most recent unhinged, right-wing bill he's co-sponsoring with them:
Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they'd have to determine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.

The proposed law, also known as H.R. 3, extends the reach of the Hyde Amendment-- which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake-- into many parts of the federal tax code. In some cases, the law would forbid using tax benefits-- like credits or deductions-- to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortion. If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.

"Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest," says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. "If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it."

The proposal, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has declared a top priority of the new Republican Congress, has 221 cosponsors and is expected to pass the House easily.

The two principal sponsors are deranged Republican anti-Choice fanatic Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Lipinski, whose role in this is something akin to a Judas goat-- to deliver Democratic votes. Among the right-wing Democrats joining Lipinski in this endeavor are a really unsavory lot of perpetual aisle-crossers: Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC), Mark Critz (PA), Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN), and Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK).

You would think the fact that Critz has had more DCCC money spent on him than almost anyone since Obama was elected might make the Beltway Democrats embarrassed to attack the Republicans for this nauseating legislation. Or the fact that Steve Israel is coordinating efforts with Heath Shuler on finding appropriately conservative nominees for 2012 congressional... you know, anti-Choice, antigay Democrats who will be counted on to vote with the GOP. But nooooooooo... nothing embarrasses these people. In fact just Thursday it was announced Lipinski signed on as the principal co-sponsor of another extremist Republican bill, this time with crackpots Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Lord Boustany (R-LA), "bipartisan legislation to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act." The freaky little worm-like Lipinski (see photo above) has a function in life: allowing Republicans to call their uber-partisan insane legislation "bipartisan."

There's an adamantly pro-Choice, progressive Democrat, John Atkinson, running for the deep blue seat Lipinski is currently occupying. He's worth investing in. (And his supporters have a niftier Facebook page up: Stop The Repeal.)

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At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is one scary photo. Cover up the face except for the eyes, yikes

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous A. Man said...

Makes me frankly sick. Hearing that HR 3 has actually passed I attempted to e-mail Lipinski and Shuler but unless I fake an IL or NC zip I can't via their websites. If Democrats are not going to stand up for women then who will. The Republicans seem all to have hitched themselves to the Taliban bandwagon. Let us hope the women voters remember this next time. These people deserve to be out of a job permanently.


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