Senate Omnibus Bill Has Abortion Concerns, Approval Tanks

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2010   |   8:22PM   |   Washington, DC

Senate Democrats introduced an omnibus spending bill yesterday to keep the federal government running into the next fiscal year and the measure contains abortion concerns.

The introduction of the bill, which Republicans and pro-life advocates are already opposing, comes as new polling data shows Congress’ approval rating continues at rock bottom.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, a pro-abortion Hawaii lawmaker, introduced the bill 1,924-page mammoth which come in just 125 pages shy of the ObamaCare measure.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins says pro-life advocates should be worried about what the bill contains.

The omnibus contains more than $1 billion in funding for programs initiated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as the ObamaCare law that allows for abortion funding. It allocates $750 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund “slush fund” for a variety of programs that could lead to abortion funding.

It also includes a $175.9 million “adjustment” in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Program Management account to implement the massive Medicaid expansion and cuts to Medicare Advantage that could lead to rationing of health care.

Perkins explains, “Among other concerns, taxpayer funds could be used for abortions in D.C., $740 million would go toward international population control, and Title X funds would get a multi-million dollar boost.”

The international family planning funding is an increase over the year prior and the second increase in a row during the Obama administration — putting more money in the pockets of the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The measure also includes authorization for the Office of Women’s Issues, which pro-life advocates worry will be a hub for pro-abortion efforts to promote abortion on an international scale.

“[I]t is completely and totally inappropriate to wrap all of this up into a 2,000-page bill and try to pass it the week before Christmas,” said pro-life Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate.

Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona congressman and also a pro-life advocate, added: “This omnibus was written as if the election in November never happened.”

Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, both pro-life and from South Carolina and Oklahoma respectively, are demanding that the entire proposal be read out loud on the Senate floor, which could take days. In response, Harry Reid is threatening to keep the Senate in session for the remainder of the year.

Perkins hopes Republicans will stick to their guns and filibuster the measure in the Senate.

“Obviously, Democrats are hoping that with a government shutdown looming, Republicans will have no choice but to swallow the pork and pass the bill,” he said. “We’ve seen this same strategy play out the last two years. Leaders push the controversial votes up against Christmas to extract votes from members who just want to go enjoy their families. Liberals are banking on the fact that the Senate will cave to get home sooner.”

Gary Bauer, of American Values, also weighed in on the massive legislation.

“Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House just made clear what they think of the millions of Americans who voted five weeks ago for less government and more freedom,” he said. “The budget was supposed to be introduced and voted on months ago, but liberal congressional leaders dared not disclose to the public the full extent of their fiscal insanity before the election.”

The latest Gallup poll finds that the approval rating of this lame duck Congress has dropped to a record low of just 13%.

“If the rating drops again, we may have room to print the actual names of those still supporting Reid and Pelosi. But remember this is not the new Congress that was elected in November. The winners on November 2nd don’t get sworn into office until January,” Bauer concluded.