Rep. Marcy Kaptur is the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. But for the first time in history, the senior Democrat on Approps will not be the ranking member. That honor goes to Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, third in seniority. The reason? Abortion.
The Hill reports:
Going by seniority, Kaptur would have ascended to the top spot on the panel, which she has served on for 22 years. But she had a couple of limiting factors: She is a consistent opponent of expanding abortion rights and in the past has had a rocky relationship with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
This fits perfectly with what we already know about the Democratic Party: support for legal and subsidized abortion is nearly their only litmus test. They’ll give the Homeland Security chairmanship to the most hawkish, pro-war member of their caucus who actually left the party (Joe Lieberman). They’ll give the Banking Committee ranking membership to Maxine Waters. But God forbid a pro-lifer gets a top-tier ranking-member slot on a committee that doesn’t have jurisdiction over abortion.
President Obama has repeatedly shown his absolutism on abortion: he has never supported a single restriction on abortion; he opposed a bill to protect fully born babies because he feared it could lead down the line towards restrictions on abortion; he used the defense of partial-birth abortion as a fundraising message. He has sicced his Justice Department on peaceful pro-life protestors.
Also, during the budget debates of 2010, as I wrote:
The only red line [Obama] had in the 2010 government shutdown debate was federal funding for the nation’s leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood. Tax cuts for the rich, domestic spending cuts — all those things he could accept. Reduced subsidies to the abortion lobby — that, he could not abide.
Back to Lowey, her winning the ranking member slot should be seen in the light of her being a top fundraiser for the party — which should, in turn, be seen in the light of her being a vociferous defender of legal and subsidized abortion.
The Democrats’ fundraising network is enmeshed with the pro-choice lobby. I wrote on this last year:
The Democrats typically fill their top fundraising posts with the most vociferous defenders of legal abortion and Planned Parenthood subsidies. For example, Obama tapped ardently pro-choice congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Richards, of Planned Parenthood, has publicly lauded Wasserman-Schultz as a “heroine” of the cause.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, during the spring budget debates, deployed congresswoman Diana DeGette, co-chairwoman of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, to raise $100,000 in a night on the issue of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.
Lowey, long a heroine of the cause, too, is a former DCCC chairwoman.
The Approps ranking member is supposed to be a top fundraiser. A pro-lifer like Kaptur can’t play that role in today’s Democratic Party.