Senate Democrats want policy riders out of any budget deal

Two Senate Democrats joined labor and women’s healthcare groups on Tuesday in urging Republicans to avoid risking a government shutdown in a fight over contentious policy riders.

Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump goes after Democrats over photo of drowned migrants Schumer displays photo of drowned migrants on Senate floor in appeal to Trump McConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems MORE (N.Y.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann Stabenow It's time to let Medicare to negotiate drug prices Trump judicial nominee says he withdrew over 'gross mischaracterizations' of record Trump judicial nominee withdraws amid Republican opposition: report MORE (Mich.) called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Adam Scott calls on McConnell to take down 'Parks & Rec' gif Trump says he spoke to Pelosi, McConnell on border package MORE (R-Ky.) and his party to work with Democrats on a "clean" budget deal that would ensure that the government remains open beyond Dec. 11, when the stopgap spending measure expires.

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“Now it’s time for responsible members of the Republican party to grab the reins and move quickly to put together a bipartisan deal,” Schumer said in a conference call with reporters.

Schumer said that a deal couldn't include any “ideological poison-pill riders" and must end sequestration and raise the spending caps set two years ago.

He argued that Republicans slipped their policy preferences into the last spending bill without discussing them on the Senate floor because "they know the public is against them on these issues and they know they’d lose."

"So what they’re trying to do, particularly the hard-liners, is trying to shove these riders down the American people’s throats by saying even though we couldn’t pass these on their own, we’re saying we’re going to shut down the government unless we get our rider,” he said.

”Instead, what we need to do is to work in a bipartisan way to come up with an agreement for three simple reasons: for jobs, jobs and jobs.”

Last month, McConnell offered a bipartisan stopgap spending bill free of the Planned Parenthood dispute at the center of budget talks in the upper chamber. 

McConnell has vowed not to repeat the government shutdown of two years ago.

Schumer also called for any agreement to include matching funding for programs that help middle-class Americans for every dollar spent on defense.

Stabenow said what is needed is a Murray-Ryan 2.0 budget plan because “we’re fundamentally at a crossroads fighting for a budget that is rigged for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.”

“It’s time to update that budget and avoid what could be catastrophic,” she added.

The groups, including Planned Parenthood, the AFL-CIO and League of Conservation Voters, all said that preserving any of the more than 100 policy riders in the stopgap measure would take much-needed funding from women’s healthcare, consumer protection, worker safety, public health and the environment.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood — which has been at the center of a fight among conservatives — said that the budget fight shouldn’t turn ideological because it is about “access to critical healthcare to millions [of people].”

Planned Parenthood has defended its record on Capitol Hill after videos emerged showing how the group handles fetal tissue provided to health-related researchers. 

The group has said it did nothing wrong and didn't break federal law.