House passes COVID relief, pro-life groups warn he funds abortion
The House passed a massive COVID relief bill early Saturday morning, with no protection against abortion funding.
After debating the bill Friday night and voting early Saturday morning, the House passed the 2021 $ 1.9 trillion US bailout by a majority partisan vote of 219 to 212. The bill funds vaccines, testing and tracing, and brings economic relief. including stimulus checks to American families.
However, it does not include bans on funding abortions, which pro-life groups – including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – have warned it would increase abortion funding. .
The Hyde Amendment, enacted annually as part of the Appropriation Bills, prohibits the funding of elective abortions. The “Hyde” language was included in the COVID relief bill that passed in Congress last year, the CARES Act, and the bill also included provisions preventing Planned Parenthood affiliates from accessing services. emergency loans. Planned Parenthood affiliates were still able to apply for and receive approximately $ 80 million in emergency CARES no credit check loans.
However, the current package does not include any of these pro-life protections. Pro-life groups have warned that global health funding, health insurance subsidies and Title X program funding could go to elective abortions, abortion coverage and pro-abortion groups.
In his remarks on the House floor on Friday night, House Pro-Life Caucus co-chair, Rep. Chris Smith (RN.J.), called the exclusion of pro-life language a “radical departure from all COVIDs previous ones. -19 relief laws ”, and one which“ makes compulsory the financing by taxpayers of abortion on demand ”.
Several members tried unsuccessfully to insert Hyde language through an amendment on Friday while the bill was considered by the Rules Committee. The amendment was co-sponsored by 206 members. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Virginia Foxx (RN.C.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.)
The amendment sought to ban funding for abortion coverage for the unemployed through the COBRA program, as well as tax credits for health premiums. He also sought to apply pro-life protections to the funding of the Title X family planning program.
Rodgers and other Republicans tried to insert pro-life amendments to the legislation as it had been considered in various House committees, but the amendments were rejected. The measures included redirecting Title X funding to support child suicide prevention, as abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood are expected to be eligible for Title X grants again during the Biden administration.
Two Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill – Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) And Representative Jared Golden (D-Maine).
The American Rescue Plan also calls for a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour, although that provision should be removed by the Senate parliamentarian before the chamber considers the bill.
March for Life president Jeanne Mancini said on Friday that the bill includes “billions of dollars in abortion subsidies, not only here in the United States but also abroad.”
In his remarks, Smith noted that President Biden once supported pro-life protections against abortion funding.
“Sir. Biden once wrote constituents explaining that his support for laws against funding abortion by saying that it “would protect both the woman and her unborn child,” “Smith noted.
“Unborn babies, Madam President, need the President of the United States and members of Congress to be their friend and advocate, not their adversary,” said Smith.