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Kathy Castor warns GOP about threats to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In Washington on Tuesday, Senate Republicans introduced a short-term spending bill that would essential fund the government through Dec. 11 and avert a shutdown.

The measure would defund Planned Parenthood and increase defense spending by approximately $13 billion, and it’s expected to fall short when it comes up for a vote on Thursday. The next likely scenario is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will introduce a second spending bill funding the government at current spending levels through the same date — what’s being called a “clean continuing resolution.” It would then move over to the House early next week, just days before the September 30 deadline to keep the government running.

When asked if she thought there was a possibility that congressional Republicans could repeat 2013 all over again and shut down the government, Tampa Bay area U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor says simply, “I hope not.”

“But the Republican conference is very divided,” she told reporters on Tuesday at a press availability on Tuesday. “There’s a conservative group that wants to depose Speaker John Boehner, and they thrive on this chaotic atmosphere, but I hope cooler heads will prevail,” she said.

CNN reports that Boehner “faces a revolt” from approximately two dozen House conservatives who want to oust the Ohio speaker because he hasn’t taken a more confrontational stance against President Obama.

Castor says Republicans should have learned their lesson from two years ago when they shut down the government for 17 days because of their unhappiness with the Affordable Care Act.

“This is not a way to run a country,” she says. “If they do shut down the government, it will be a fundamental failure of their most basic responsibility.”

Castor also discussed her excitement about seeing Pope Francis address a joint session of Congress on Thursday morning, the first pope ever to do so.

“Pope Francis has generated such good will and interest because he’s the first Jesuit pope, and he’s made a point of highlighting issues that were not highlighted in the past regrading poverty and income inequality, climate change and immigration, and these are the issues that are at the fore of public policy in Washington right now,  so everybody is anticipating his remarks with great excitement.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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