House Democrats Manipulate Vote, Prevent Stopping Tax-Funded Abortions in DC
by Steven Ertelt
July 16, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Members of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives manipulated a vote on Thursday. The end result is the prevention of a vote on an amendment that would stop forcing taxpayers from having to pay for abortions in the nation’s capital.
As LifeNews.com previously reported, President Barack Obama’s budget request called for overturning the ban on taxpayer funded abortions in the District of Columbia.
A House committee defeated a bipartisan amendment sponsored by pro-life Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas and Democratic Rep. Lincoln of Tennessee that would have restored the ban.
The House Rules Committee adopted rules for debate on the Financial Services bill covering D.C. funding that prohibited the amendment from being offered on the House floor, where it would have received more support.
Today, the full House voted for the rules the committee adopted and, with the help of pro-life Democrats, lawmakers had enough votes to defeat the rules and allow a vote on the pro-life amendment.
However, House Democratic leaders held the vote open and four Democrats, Reps. Berry, Dingell, Minnick and Peters, switched their votes to oppose the rule and guarantee the Financial Services Appropriations bill will fund abortions in Washington.
As a result, the rules prohibiting an amendment vote were approved by a 216-213 margin with no Republicans voting to support the rule and its censorship of the Tiahrt-Davis amendment. Some 39 Democrats joined with all of the Republicans in the House to vote down the pro-abortion rules.
During the debate on the rules, a bipartisan group of lawmakers stood up in opposition to it for banning consideration of the amendment. They included pro-life Democratic Rep. Bart Supak and pro-life Republican Rep. Chris Smith, the leaders of the House Pro-Life Caucus.
Stupak criticized the leaders of his party saying their decision "muzzles the voices of pro-life members."
They brought up a letter signed by 180 members of Congress asking that pro-life limits on abortion funding with public dollars be retained and that they be given a chance to vote up or down on abortion funding.
Political observers are surprised somewhat by the insistence of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues shutting down debate on the abortion funding amendment.
When they were in the minority, House Democrats aggressively defended their right to vote on amendments to appropriations bills.
"What they want to do is they want to avoid tough votes on appropriations bills," pro-life Rep. David Dreier of California told AP after the vote.
According to AP, pro-abortion Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland "acknowledged in a brief interview that one reason for restricting amendments is to save members of his party from having to cast politically painful votes."
ACTION: Click here to see how your member of the House voted on the rule. A yes vote, for the rule, is a vote to prohibit an amendment to stop taxpayer funding of abortions in the nation’s capital. A no vote is a pro-life vote to allow consideration of a pro-life amendment. Call 202-224-3121 or see https://www.House.gov to contact your member.
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