Montana TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg is the stumbling block that is threatening to sink another budget and risk a government shutdown–putting the entire U.S. economy on uncertain ground.
The Hill is reporting on the latest efforts in Congress to pass the year’s funding bills and avoid a government shutdown. But Congressman Dennis Rehberg can’t even be counted on to sit at the negotiating table:
“One aide said Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), the lead GOP Labor bill negotiator, is running for a Senate seat and cannot be seen as compromising with Democrats.”
Recall that he has already failed to pass the labor bill he is responsible for as a subcommittee chairman. Instead, Congressman Rehberg only managed to piece together a controversial “draft” proposal in secret.
That Rehberg is saying he can’t even be “seen” as compromising is just the beginning. Rehberg’s “draft” has numerous other problems. As The Hill reported last week, one aide said that, “The bill has so many cultural issues packed into it” that it is bogging down the whole budget.
Rehberg isn’t just larding his draft budget proposal with this crap–he’s gone culture warrior all over the place. As the head of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana explains in a guest editorial in the Missoulian:
“After the 2010 elections, the new wave of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged to focus on our country’s critical challenge: creating jobs. Instead of living up to this promise, the House has launched a War on Women, passing seven bills attacking women’s reproductive rights. In fact, the House has held the highest number of votes on choice-related issues since 2000.
“Rehberg also injected anti-abortion politics into an agriculture bill by supporting an amendment that could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing. This ban would apply even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care. Rehberg is calling for an abortion-only version of Skype. This restriction is impractical, ridiculous and, most importantly, would take away the ability of some women in rural or remote areas to discuss the full set of options with their doctor.”
If he hasn’t figured out by now that he’s supposed to be working on jobs, not some backwoods culture war (and its obvious he hasn’t) Rehberg is no use to Montana in Congress. He’s proven to be more of a hindrance than anything else.