By Whip Steve Scalise and Congresswoman Kay Granger
August 17, 2021
In 1994, a prominent United States Senator said, “Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.” That Senator was Joe Biden.
Then-Senator Joe Biden was a part of a strong bipartisan coalition defending the unborn and protecting pro-life Americans from paying for abortions. But President Joe Biden has surrendered to Speaker Pelosi, the so-called squad, and the abortion industry who want to force Americans to pay for abortion on demand across all government programs, beginning with gutting the longstanding Hyde Amendment.
The Hyde Amendment was first negotiated in 1976 as bipartisan appropriations language; it has been carried on 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 that 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. Until recently.
In July, the Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee voted repeatedly to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and other Hyde-like pro-life protections across the appropriations bills. Attempts by Republicans to restore these important protections were voted down across every bill by the Appropriations Committee Democrats.
Every GOP Member of the House then cosponsored an amendment to reinstate the Hyde amendment as it currently exists in the Labor HHS Appropriations bill during debate in the full House of Representatives. Other members offered amendments to reinstate pro-life protections in other areas of funding. Unbelievably, these pro-life amendments were even not allowed a vote on the House Floor. Finally, Republicans offered a Motion to Recommit the bill back to Committee with the intention to reinstate longstanding pro-life protections across the bills. Sadly, every single 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. Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats refused to allow for a vote.
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 the American voter. Recent polling reflects that the majority of the American public do not support the subsidizing of abortion on demand with their tax dollars. The poll, commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, found that 58 percent of voters – including 31 percent of Democrats, 34 percent of self-described pro-choice voters, and 65 percent of Independents – oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
When Republicans return to the majority, rest assured we will not back down. We will end the attacks upon 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 Americans.