House Democrats’ Delay on Passing Spending Bills Could Allow Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 15, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House Democrats’ Delay on Passing Spending Bills Could Allow Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 15
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The scene in Washington right now pits Democrats against Republicans on the annual appropriations bills that are passed to allow the federal government to function. However, the lack of any spending bills could result in passing an omnibus measure that may overturn pro-life provisions.

Typically, Congress approves a slate of bills funding major departments and they frequently contain provisions such as the Hyde amendment that limit federal funding of abortions.

With the federal debt on the minds of many American voters, and with President Barack Obama calling for $50 billion more in deficit spending to help some states, the two parties are preparing to go toe to toe on financial matters.

Republicans have been complaining that Democratic leaders have not yet passed a budget for the first time in 35 years. That’s because there is a divide between liberal and conservative Democrats on allowing more spending — with some Democrats worrying they will be voted out of office if they approve more.

Without committee and subcommittee hearings on various parts of the federal budget, the House could move forward with an omnibus spending bill that would fund all government departments at current levels (or some other level).

The problem for the pro-life movement is these bills typically pass the House easily and they could contain language, for example, ditching the Hyde amendment and its provisions against taxpayer funding of abortions via Medicaid.

That greatly concerns Tom McClusky, who monitors Congress for the Family Research Council.

"Generally I try to list Appropriation hearings that are relevant to family issues – the sad fact is that there have been little to none (not even at the subcommittee level), strongly indicating that Congress does not plan to pass Appropriations bills – the major role they are elected to do," he said.

"What I see as possibly even bigger news is the Democrats aren’t even faking it that they will pass Appropriation bills," McClusky added. "A few Hill offices confirmed to me they believe the same thing."

The pro-life advocate says he sees the likely scenario as "some sort of Omnibus towards the end of the year that will include all 13 appropriation bills in one big huge spending bill."

That could have pro-abortion lawmakers scrapping pro-life limits on abortion funding even if Americans vote them out in November.

"If this is done post-election it is extremely likely the Democrats in a lame duck session will try to go after many of the pro-life provisions in the Appropriation bills like the Hyde Amendment which prevents taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicare," McClusky said.


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