Video: Boehner says contraception mandate will not stand

posted at 4:25 pm on February 8, 2012 by Tina Korbe

It’s rare for the Speaker of the House to take to the floor to deliver pointed remarks against the president — but Speaker John Boehner did just that today. With fighting words, the Ohio Republican indicated that House Republicans will do whatever is in their power to reverse the administration’s mandate that even religiously-affiliated, conscientiously-opposed-to-contraception employers offer insurance coverage for contraception to employees.

“This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand,” Boehner said.

He promised that the House will take action on an-already-introduced bill to repeal the policy as soon as possible.

Reports yesterday indicated that, given the backlash, the White House might be willing to compromise on the policy, after all — but Richard Doerflinger, a top official at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has already gone on record saying the proposed compromise could be even worse than the original policy. According to The Weekly Standard, Doerflinger wrote the following in an e-mail:

It’s difficult to know what people may mean by the “Hawaii compromise.”  But a central feature of the Hawaii law is that every religious organization that is eligible for the exemption has to instruct all employees in how they can access all methods of contraception and sterilization locally “in an expeditious manner.”

Just a few days ago the White House was saying that this is just about coverage, that no one has to be involved in getting people to the actual services they object to.  It would be no improvement to say:  ”Sure, you don’t have to include the coverage, you just have to send all your lay employees and women religious to the local Planned Parenthood clinic.”  The Administration’s press release of January 20 hinted at such a requirement.

It’s safe to say the president would never have insisted on the policy in the first place unless he felt reasonably sure the political math worked out. In other words, he would not have stood by this if he thought it in any way jeopardized his reelection. He was counting on the votes of women and young voters to offset any disappointment or disillusionment this caused in Catholic and other voters. If he is now considering a compromise because he’s concerned the backlash is too great, you can bet it won’t be to settle on a compromise that threatens the votes of the liberal women and youth he’s courting with contraception coverage in the first place.

Religious-freedom-minded individuals continue to be outraged at the administration’s decision, though, and, if it keeps up, the president could be forced to back down. Catholic League president Bill Donohue has even called for Catholics to take to the streets in peaceful protest. With Boehner promising repeal and the public vehemently rejecting the administration’s blatant assault on religious freedom, it looks increasingly likely that this decision has just made Obama’s defeat in 2012 more probable.


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My take…

We all know that Obama is a radical leftist. We all know that radical leftists hate Christians, especially those who don’t tolerate certain “alternative lifestyles”. We also know that radical leftists would love to be able to classify sermons which condemn homosexuality as sin to be hate speech and criminalize it.

I think that this move was done by the Obama adminsitration as a litmus test. Kind of a “let’s stick our collective toes in the water of infringing on religious liberty” to see what the general populace reaction would be. If the folks would be OK with this, then maybe they would be OK with other kinds of state action against church interests.

Thank goodness the backlash has been fierce indeed.

MarvinTheMartian on February 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Hmm, are you suggesting that Obama didn’t ‘read the bill first to see what was in it?’

For it to be a litmus test/trial balloon, that would need to be true, no? Or, did they fully expect this behemoth to be decided by SCOTUS and expected it to then be ruled Constitutional?

While I understand where you’re going with your comments, I’m unsure of what Obama “thinks.”

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:11 PM

You people ripping Boehner need to get real. His remarks were appropriate for the seriousness of this issue as well as respectful to the body he was addressing. I thank God it’s Speaker Boehner instead of Pelosi. The constant negativity and hate spewing is getting so old.

mike_NC9 on February 8, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Mike,

Words are cheap, actions are what counts. I’m sick and tired of Republicans who beat their chests and retreat when the going gets tough.

Considering Boehner’s past history, I think this is nothing more than empty posturing. I’ll give him credit if he takes appropriate action.

You’re right, the constant negativity is getting pretty old. It is just as old as the constant retreat by the Republicans in order to….get along at our expense!

Kingfisher on February 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Some numbers for you all:

Only 21% of Catholics are affiliated as Republican.
60% of Catholics are Dem’s when leaners are included, vs. 36% Republican.

A staggering 78% of Catholics support Health Care for all: Regardless of
cost, the U.S. government should guarantee basic health care for all
citizens

And 82% support workers right to a living wage and the right to form a
Union.

Having rolled staunch pro-life Catholics like Bart Stupak so easily during the Obamacare fight, and with numbers like the above, Obama probably thought this was a no brainer. It may still prove to be. Bill Donohue is an ineffective noisemaker, and Boehner is just ineffective.

Mr. Arkadin on February 8, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Kingfisher on February 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Precisely, Kingfisher. (incidentally, I have fond memories of fishing with my Dad, for just those)

I’m unsure of how many ‘passes’ the voters of Speaker Boehner’s district give him, but I’m fairly sure it’s on the edge.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:20 PM

He was counting on the votes of women and young voters to offset any disappointment or disillusionment this caused in Catholic and other voters.

Are these two mutually exclusive groups? Are Catholics or other voters male only? This pigeonholing of demographics is ridiculous.

herm2416 on February 8, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Mr. Arkadin on February 8, 2012 at 6:19 PM

WTH did you get those #s?

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

And I was looking forward to another 9-0 Supreme Court smack down in favor of religious freedom.

LetsBfrank on February 8, 2012 at 4:34 PM

How many Catholics are on the SCOTUS?

herm2416 on February 8, 2012 at 6:24 PM

WTH did you get those #s?

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Here. There is a link there to the original study, which seems to be quoted a lot. It is, however, four years old.

Mr. Arkadin on February 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

jersey taxpayer

Hmm, are you suggesting that Obama didn’t ‘read the bill first to see what was in it?’

For it to be a litmus test/trial balloon, that would need to be true, no? Or, did they fully expect this behemoth to be decided by SCOTUS and expected it to then be ruled Constitutional?

While I understand where you’re going with your comments, I’m unsure of what Obama “thinks.”

I don’t think it matters whether or not he “read the bill”, or if he anticipated court challenges. The man clearly doesn’t believe the limits placed on the executive branch in the Constitution apply to him. I also believe he views himself as a transformational figure. He seeks to transform this nation to a progressive utopia. But he knows he can’t do that too quickly or the people would revolt. So he is taking a slow (for him), incremental approach. But he must at times stick his finger to the wind to see where the people are at. I think this is one of those times.

MarvinTheMartian on February 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I wonder if this demonstration of Obamacare’s potential as a tool for power-grabbing is having any effect on the Supremes. I would certainly think so, given how many of them are Catholic. At the very least, I assume they’ve heard or read the bishops’ letter.

Nom de Boom on February 8, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I see ppl saying Boehner was just throwing words around and will not do anything . I do know the catholic leaders are smoking hot, and therefore the catholic ppl are hot. We shall see how far this goes but the church isn’t going to back down. The Bishop was very lively Saturday night, more so then I’ve seen in a long time.

angrymike on February 8, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Mr. Arkadin on February 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Considering that link is to “Catholic Democrats,” it holds little validity to me.

Catholic Democrats – that portion who call themselves Catholics who do not practice the teachings of the Bible.

In other words, liberals first.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I think I missed the part

we REALLY mean it this time! We are going to start on this next session!”

Right?

mr_west on February 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Boehner vs. the balrog…..

roy_batty on February 8, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I think this is one of those times.

MarvinTheMartian on February 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Perhaps, Marvin.

If that’s true, though, he’s on the road to failure.

I don’t believe that Obama does any single thing that doesn’t support his end means.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:53 PM

mr_west on February 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM

heh

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I need to get to dinner, and I thank Shop Rite for giving me the right to purchase what I want to fix that dinner.

No sarcasm.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Considering that link is to “Catholic Democrats,” it holds little validity to me.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 6:42 PM

The original survey, from which the Catholic Democrats took their numbers, was by CARA, the Center For Applied Research in the Apostolate, affiliated with Georgetown University, a major Catholic intstitution.

CARA is a national, non-profit, Georgetown University affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission:

to increase the Church’s self understanding
to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers
to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism

You can be as dismissive as you want. You can claim the study was biased. You can be appalled at the survey results. But the numbers are what they are. Which is why Obama rolled the dice like he did.

Mr. Arkadin on February 8, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Give it a week. Boehner will go flaccid and start crying.

CorporatePiggy on February 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM

We’re just one half of one third, or something like that. What is it with these guys? Why would you look around and find the weakest person and make him your leader? The last guy, “Hastern” was just as bad. Say what you will about Newt, and I’m not a fan, but that short period was the only time in modern times the House had any leadership.

Alabama Infidel on February 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I don’t believe that Obama does any single thing that doesn’t support his end means.

I agree. But I also believe that Obama is quite dumb and is not at all in tune with the folks. But given that our current crop of primary candidates is so weak; and a general public which doesn’t pay attention to politics until a month before November, it may not matter. This empty suit of a radical may win another term, to the great detriment of our country. When O was elected, I thought that our country was strong enough that it would survive 4 years until we could replace him. But the fact that the Dems had solid majorities in Congress his first two years enabled him to lurch this country very far to the left. Now, I fear that if we can’t elect someone who can undo his travesty of governance, the nation as we know it may not survive.

MarvinTheMartian on February 8, 2012 at 7:04 PM

The last guy, “Hastern” was just as bad. Say what you will about Newt, and I’m not a fan, but that short period was the only time in modern times the House had any leadership.

Alabama Infidel on February 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I couldn’t agree more, Albamma.

Say what you will. In modern times,

Newt Gingrich was the ONLY “R” to ever reform welfare. Regardless of Bill’s presidency, he made it happen.

Newt Gingrich was the ONLY “R” to ever propose, and then enact a balanced budget for America. He made it happen.

Say what you will/think what you will, but US political history applauds Newt. Perhaps for being before his time.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 7:23 PM

“…This empty suit of a radical may win another term, to the great detriment of our country. When O was elected, I thought that our country was strong enough that it would survive 4 years until we could replace him. But the fact that the Dems had solid majorities in Congress his first two years enabled him to lurch this country very far to the left. Now, I fear that if we can’t elect someone who can undo his travesty of governance, the nation as we know it may not survive.

MarvinTheMartian on February 8, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I couldn’t agree more, Marvin.

I’m working to that end. I’m also one of those ‘pesky’ Catholics.

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Rush played Boehner’s speech this morning on his show.I must say, I was underwhelmed by the so-called “fiery” speech.

Coming from a guy that breaks out in tears every time he gets “emotional” about something, I am not particularly impressed.

Actions speak louder than words. I’ll wait to see what he does before I get excited.

hachiban on February 8, 2012 at 7:28 PM

and, now, I really need to high-tail it. the man’s gettin’ grumpy.

g’night, folks

jersey taxpayer on February 8, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I believed Boehner before. He did not follow through on his promise.

He needs to do, and then I might believe in him again.

IOW, as others have said, actions speak louder than words.

Scott H on February 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Good on Speaker Boehner.

Speakup on February 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM

$100 billion in cuts.

El_Terrible on February 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

But Boehner was able to compromise that down to an even $0.0.

RJL on February 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I’ll take Boehner at his word. But then we should hold his feet to the fire.

This is not just about Catholics. Many Protestant demoninations, including my Baptist denomination, are against having to provide abortion inducing drugs (such as Ella). This is a religious freedom issue. If the policy isn’t reversed this battle is going to be fought in the courts.

This affects my family personally and not just because we are Christians. Our son attends the local Catholic high school because of the Christian environment and because of its excellent academic preparation for college. I am very concerned about how many excellent teachers we might lose if the school has to drop its insurance coverage for them rather than violate church teachings.

sherrimae on February 8, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Boehner’s talking the talk, now waiting to see if once again, he’ll roll over. The GOP will betray us, just as their chosen one betrayed MA Christians and Conservatives.

AH_C on February 8, 2012 at 11:33 PM

Boehner waited to see the polling results before taking a stand. At least he has more sense than RonMe does.

This must be a political year as democrats and republicans alike are working to be seen as more conservative. Soon we shall see how good they are at fooling the sheeple.

DannoJyd on February 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM

As a Traditional Roman Catholic, I can’t help but re-post …

However, Catholics are not, by and large, social conservatives. Obama won the Catholic vote by nine points in 2008 (54 percent to 45 percent). Catholics accounted for a whopping 27 percent of the 2008 electorate. – Ed

Perhaps an interesting study and poll re: those who are post Vatican II “catholics” and we Traditional Roman Catholics who know where to attend a Church that still celebrates the Tridentine Mass.
BTW – New Age Catholicism = Liberation Theology.
Check out any “Newman Canter”.
We adherents to the original Church aint buyin’ it.

Re: The current dust-up, Bill Donohue (The Catholic League) is one guy Slappy doesn’t want to mess with. Mr. Donohue raised hell not too many years ago at my request and on my behalf and got a college professor, a lecturer on substance abuse issues, fired. Oh, the blasphemous prof was also an LtC in the AF Reserve (gee what a shocka!). I demanded an apology from the University President, AND the Governor of the State. It worked, even though the Episcopal “reverend” tried to weasel out of it.
Personally, anyone who opens a lecture (I HAD to attend in order to receive a certain State certification) with a “joke” aimed at Catholic Priests getting drunk and then having sex (with whomever) was not appreciated. Only a few of the 25 people in attendance chuckled, most just looked away, but not me. Attack my Faith, you attack ME.

Finally, as medical professionals, one is required to refer patients to specialists. That “referral” need not be to Planned Parenthood – yet.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 9, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Insuring contraception is pointless, useless, frivolous, and fiscally irresponsible.

You get insurance to cover the potential for unexpected high cost events you can’t cover otherwise… how does that apply here?

Seriously, the pill costs $15-$40 (depending on which pill, and don’t think all would be covered) a month. Plan B costs $20-$30 for the medication.

Plan B is a low cost occasional at best purchase. I’m guessing you don’t have your car battery insured, that’ll cost more than Plan B if you need to pay for it. But it at least fits “unexpected”…

Contraception via the pill is a static, common, regular, expense. You need insurance for those? Can I see your policy for your oil change insurance? How about your gas refill insurance?

Lets say you do decide to pay someone else to “insure” a regular bill with a fixed low cost… like your unlimited minutes Cricket phone bill. My bill with my plan is $45.

Does anyone think they can provide me a service where they pay my bill in full, and charge me less than $45 a month?

As an insurer you already know what the costs here are, they aren’t going to change, and you’re in business to make money… so you charge a bit more to cover your overhead & profit.

Why is insuring a low fixed cost bill a good idea this time? Because this time the insurance companies won’t try to make a profit? This time the Market won’t follow the obvious logical path?

And if you think your employer will cover this increase without affecting your salary and you won’t end up paying for it anyway… then you’re not paying attention and clearly don’t understand how businesses work.

Even if you ignore the religious, ethical, moral dilemma here… it’s financially a stupid plan for insurance to handle.

gekkobear on February 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM

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