GOP Exhibits 'Bottomless Bad Faith' With New Shutdown Hostage: Community Health Centers

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are pushing to strip healthcare from millions of Americans while they accept generous healthcare subsidies from the government. (Photo: Getty)

GOP Exhibits 'Bottomless Bad Faith' With New Shutdown Hostage: Community Health Centers

Republicans are now pretending to care about funding for health centers that they allowed to lapse four months ago

Just weeks after Republicans cynically used children's health insurance funding to lure Democrats into voting for a short-term spending bill, the GOP confirmed on Monday that their hostage this time around--with a possible government shutdown looming on Thursday--will be the community health centers that provide "a lifeline" for 27 million Americans.

"Community health centers have replaced children's insurance as the hostage that the GOP does not own up to opposing and yet wants counted as their concession."
--Daniel Nichanian

The House GOP announced late Monday that two years of funding for the Community Health Center program will be included in a spending measure that also proposes a full year of funding for the Pentagon.

The bill, which does not include a DACA fix, could reach the House floor for a vote as early as Tuesday evening.

Given that Republicans have not previously shown any urgency to provide money for the health centers--allowing funding to lapse over four months ago, creating a what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called a "healthcare crisis no one is talking about"--critics were quick to denounce the GOP's newfound concern for the centers as a "bad faith" attempt to coerce Democrats into choosing between fighting for Dreamers and funding a crucial healthcare program.

"This only makes sense as a way of running the government if you want to continually reserve the right to create a crisis or bankrupt a program," wroteMSNBC's Chris Hayes on Twitter Monday, highlighting the fact that the GOP's proposed stopgap measure would only fund the government through March 23. "If they thought Community Health Centers should be funded for two years, they, obviously, could have done that in the last [continuing resolution], but it was taken as a hostage."

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.