The House defunds NPR, Chaffetz wants the troops out of Afghanistan, Mike Lee is making a mark, Medicaid does pay for many student births and bouncy balls fall from heaven.
*The House on Thursday passed a bill to defund NPR. The GOP-backed measure, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), passed 228-192. One Republican voted present, and seven voted against the bill. No Democrats supported it. The bill has only a slim chance of becoming law, as both Senator Harry Reid and President Obama oppose the measure. The Hill
*Opposition to the war in Afghanistan has grown in the House, but not nearly enough to call for an end to it. A bill directing Obama to have troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year garnered only 93 votes. Utah’s Jason Chaffetz was one of 8 Republicans voting for it. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history, having run over 113 months. The Vietnam War lasted 103 months. “The president needs to define success in Afghanistan. I think he has failed to do so,” Chaffetz told The Hill after the vote. “A politically correct war is a lost war,” Chaffetz said. “At the present time, we are playing politics.” The Hill // SL Trib
*Meanwhile, a government shut-down looms as both sides dig in their heels. More than the dollar amounts of the cuts are the policy statements – defunding Planned Parenthood (which Harry Reid says is unacceptable), restrictions on funding for climate change and more. For Democrats, who’ve already gone further on spending cuts than even they expected, the legislative riders are a step too far. They can compromise on trims, but not on principles, they say. House Speaker John Boehner’s Republican caucus is dug in and divided — with some members prepared to shutter the government in a drive to press ideological battles they have long fought. Stay tuned for more fireworks. Politico
*The Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen defends Senator Mike Lee after a WaPo colleague takes him to task and accuses him of being a lightweight. Not so, says Theissen who says Lee made his mark and showed himself “a force to be reckoned with in the Senate” even before taking his seat. Indeed, Senator Lee has forced an open vote on earmarks, put Senators on record in support of a balanced budget amendment and is leading the push to tie the continuing resolutions to spending cuts. Good job, Senator. WaPo
*State data confirms what the legislature suspected – Medicaid is paying for a lot of babies for college students. their occupation on birth certificate forms. In Cache County, home to Utah State University, Medicaid picked up the tab for 53 percent of student births, and in SUU’s back yard of Iron County, 69 percent, state records show. The lion’s share of those Medicaid-funded births to college students happened in Utah County, home to Utah Valley University and Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University. SL Trib
*And if none of that interests you, well, take a look at what it looks like to drop 20,000 bouncy balls out of a helicopter. SL Trib