In 1994, a prominent senator said, “Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.” That senator was Joe Biden.
Then-Sen. Biden was a part of a strong bipartisan coalition defending the unborn and protecting anti-abortion voters from paying for abortions. But Biden has surrendered to extremists in the abortion industry, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the so-called “Squad,” who want to force people to pay for abortion on demand across all government programs, beginning with gutting the long-standing Hyde Amendment.
The Hyde Amendment was first negotiated in 1976 as bipartisan appropriations language. It has been included in the annual appropriations bill every year since. The Hyde Amendment prevents the federal government from subsidizing abortion on demand, saving millions of lives while protecting taxpayers who oppose abortion from having their hard-earned money fund it.
Lawmakers came together from both sides of the aisle, despite strong political differences, to acknowledge the U.S. government should not be in the abortion business. Since its inception, the Hyde Amendment has saved more than 2 million unborn babies, according to a study conducted by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
The Hyde Amendment has been an important example of bipartisanship for decades. Not anymore.
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In July, the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee repeatedly voted to gut the Hyde Amendment and other Hyde-like anti-abortion protections across all spending bills. Attempts by Republicans to restore these important protections were voted down by Pelosi’s extremist lieutenants on the Appropriations Committee.
Every GOP member of the House then cosponsored an amendment to reinstate the Hyde Amendment as it currently exists in the Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations bill during debate in the full House of Representatives. Other members offered amendments to reinstate anti-abortion protections in other areas of funding. Unbelievably, these anti-abortion amendments were not allowed a vote on the House floor. Finally, Republicans offered a motion to recommit the bill back to committee to reinstate long-standing pro-life protections across the bills. Sadly, every single House Democrat voted against this motion.
House Republicans also launched a congressional campaign to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. For weeks, House Republicans tried to get a vote on the House floor to codify the Hyde Amendment into law. Pelosi and the Democrats refused to allow a vote on this life-saving bill.
Two hundred of our GOP colleagues have signed a letter pledging strong opposition to any appropriations bill that eliminates pro-life protections. If Democrats want a spending package to pass this year, all of these pro-life protections must be reinstated.
If congressional Democrats truly cared about bipartisanship, they would listen to voters. Recent polling reflects that most voters do not support the subsidizing of abortion on demand with their tax dollars. The poll, commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, found that 58% of voters — including 31% of Democrats, 34% of self-described pro-choice voters, and 65% of independents — oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
When Republicans return to the majority, we will not back down from this fight. We will end the attacks on pro-life Americans from extremist Democrats. We will pass the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, and we will lead the charge on defending the unborn and protecting the moral and religious beliefs of millions of people.
LifeNews Note: Steve Scalise represents Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and is minority whip. Kay Granger represents Texas’s 12th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.