Freedom Caucus and Pro-Life Groups Back Republican Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood, Repeal Obamacare

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2017   |   2:00PM   |   Washington, DC

A large group of conservative Republicans and a leading pro-life group have announced their support for the legislation that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and repeal Obamacare. House Freedom caucus and the Family Research Council are now supportive of the new legislation.

The Washington Examiner has more about the move today by the freedom caucus to support the bill.

In a major win for GOP leadership, the leadership of the House Freedom Caucus said Wednesday that it supports a new deal to repeal Obamacare.

But support from centrist Republicans is lagging.

“While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the House Freedom Caucus chairman, said in a statement.

Meadows did not indicate whether all of the approximately three dozen members of the group would vote for the bill. The Freedom Caucus typically supports legislation only when 80 percent of its membership is behind it.

The number of Freedom Caucus lawmakers supporting the measure is critical.

Republicans will need 217 votes to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, and there could be significant defections from their centrist wing.

Many members of the Republican Tuesday Group, which is comprised of centrists, left a meeting in the Capitol basement Wednesday without agreeing to support the proposal.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Meanwhile, Family Research Council officials told that they are also supportive of the defunding Planned Parenthood measure.

Family Research Council (FRC) announced it will score in favor of the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) which may come up for a vote as soon as this week in the House of Representatives. This is the first time FRC has announced a plan to score a health care related bill in the new Congress.

AHCA, for one year, would eliminate more than $390 million (over 86%) of over $450 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood, from all mandatory spending programs. This is identical to the provision that was ruled to comply with the Senate’s Byrd Rule in 2015. AHCA also redirects funding to community health centers which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and offer a wider array of health care services, but not abortion.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“Family Research Council will score in favor of the American Health Care Act of 2017 because it provides the best path forward to re-establish the fundamental federal policy that abortion is not health care, to redirect funding away from Planned Parenthood, and to provide American families improved health insurance options.

“It’s time that Republican Members of Congress show they are serious about uprooting one of the many egregious policies of the Obama years. After entrusting the GOP with authority to lead the country based upon their campaign promises, now is the time to transform those promises into policy. The American people are depending on Congress to save them from the ill-effects of Obamacare.

“We applaud the conservative Members of Congress that have been working to ensure the replace portion of the repeal bill is both pro-life and pro-family. The measure not only reapplies to federal health care law the principle contained in the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care and should not be subsidized but it also contains significant steps to reduce healthcare premiums.

“AHCA repeals the Obamacare premium tax credits, which subsidize abortion on demand. AHCA would also eliminate the Obamacare employer and individual mandate penalties, thereby allowing employers or individuals to forgo offering or purchasing coverage if doing so violates their conscience. AHCA’s Obamacare replacement components include pro-life funding restrictions regarding tax credits, the Patient and State Stability Fund, and the Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program.

“We believe that AHCA’s abortion funding restrictions are budgetary and should therefore survive any Byrd Rule point of order in the Senate. If, in the unfortunate circumstance the Senate Parliamentarian were to rule that these pro-life protections violate the Byrd Rule, we will not support the bill.

“Family Research Council urges the House of Representatives to approve the American Health Care Act and intends to score in support,” concluded Perkins.