With the Senate having defeated both a pro-life budget bill the House passed and a Senate version not containing provisions to de-fund Planned Parenthood and stop some taxpayer funding of abortions, lawmakers move to the next step.
That step will likely come in the form of a temporary Continuing Resolution that would fund the federal government at current levels rather than make more demonstrative changes like the long-term CR that would have funded the federal government through September. The House and Senate agreed to a two-week CR already that allowed both chambers the chance to debate the long-term version that failed in the Senate yesterday.
Although the House included the Pence Amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood and provisions to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, stop abortion funding in the District of Columbia and to remove funding for the pro-abortion UNFPA in the long-term bill, it did not include the provisions in the short-term measure because of the importance of avoiding a government shutdown and potential negative political ramifications from it.
When the next short-term continuing resolution is discussed, the Family Research Council wants House Republicans to include those provisions.
In a letter FRC provided to LifeNews.com that it sent to House members, FRC Senior Vice President Tom McClusky said, “I want to strongly encourage you to oppose any additional temporary Continuing Resolutions for FY 2011 that fails to prevent government funding of abortion in the District of Columbia and government funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.”
While FRC did not apply this pressure to House members on the first short-term continuing resolution, it is taking a more intense approach this time.
“FRCAction will score against any such extension of government funding without these key pro-life provisions,” the group promised. “FRCAction will oppose any additional temporary Continuing Resolution that does not include these two pro-life provisions and include any such vote in our scorecard for the First Session of the 112th Congress.”
“Continuing to fund abortion in the District of Columbia, as the Washington Post has recently reported, is entirely unacceptable. Regardless of one’s view of the legality of abortion, Congress should not pay for the killing of unborn children,’ McClusky said for FRC.
The letter explained: “The House on February 19th passed a full year continuing resolution (H.R. 1) that would restore the long-standing ban on congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the nation’s capital. H.R. 1 as passed also included an amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to prevent government funding for Planned Parenthood. However, the two week continuing resolution (H.J.Res. 44) passed by both chambers, and which was signed into law on March 2nd, did not include these two key pro-life provisions.”
“Continuing funding for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, a group flush with funds despite routinely ignoring state statutory rape reporting and parental notification laws, and which has recently been shown to refuse to report instances of sex trafficking of minors is unacceptable,” McClusky concluded.
Penny Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women for America, also expressed concerned that the new short-term budget bill would not include the pro-life provisions.
“Yesterday, the Senate voted on the House-passed spending bill (which included the pro-life Pence amendment) and on a Senate substitute bill introduced by liberal Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). Both bills failed to get the 60 votes needed,” she said. “Now it looks like there will need to be another short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded for another 3-4 weeks. This will cut spending, but not necessarily to the programs we have wanted to see eliminated. Nor will this short-term bill include efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.”
She urged pro-life advocates to continue contacting Congress to demand the de-funding and pro-life provisions remain in the new short-term measure.
“Please call your representative and senators today, and urge them to defund Planned Parenthood,” Nance said. “Senators received lots of calls from their constituents on this issue, and we are not going to quit now. We urge you to continue to light up the Senate (and House) switchboards. Planned Parenthood is continuing their advertising blitz – railing against members of Congress who voted against giving them your money.”
“In today’s tight economic times when families are forced to make tough decisions about their finances, it’s morally reprehensible for the federal government to force Americans to subsidize the largest abortion provider in our country,” she added.