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Legislation Update: Week of February 21

By February 25, 2011LAC Hot Topics/Alerts
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Last week, House Republicans offered a nice post-Valentines Day gift to the American people and passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) on February 19, 2011, that included a multitude of cuts in wasteful programs and revived many pro-life measures that were lost in the last Congress.

The House passed the CR by a vote of 235-189 and added in several pro-life amendments that the Obama Administration eliminated, such as the Mexico City policy forbidding U.S. foreign aid to international organizations that perform or promote abortion, and the Dornan amendment to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortion in Washington, D.C. Republicans also slashed $327 million in family planning programs that fund abortion and reduced International Family Planning to fiscal year (FY) 2007 levels.The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), which provides funds to China and its horrific practices of forced abortions and sterilizations, found its $55 million in U.S. contributions cut as well.

Since the original spending bill did not completely defund Planned Parenthood, Representative Mike Pence (R-Indiana) sponsored an amendment to the budget that prevented the abortion provider and its affiliates from receiving federal funding.In light of recent undercover videos that showed Planned Parenthood employees advising supposed pimps on how to receive abortion services for underage girls, Rep. Pence and other House leaders maintained that it was crucial that the American people not be forced to help provide the funds for such abhorrent dealings.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) members worked hard to alert congressmen that voting for the Pence Amendment would honor the wishes of the majority of Americans, whether pro-life or pro-abortion, who do not believe that taxpayer funds should be used to finance abortion services.After a long series of debates and vicious attacks by pro-abortion representatives, the Pence Amendment passed 240-185 and was an enormous victory for the unborn. If your Representative voted for the Pence Amendment, please call or write to his/her office to thank them for their courageous vote.Pro-abortion, Planned Parenthood activists are hammering Members of Congress who supported this effort and they really need to hear from you so they remain firm in their commitment to defund Planned Parenthood. (Capitol Switchboard, (202) 225-3121.Or, find your Member of Congress and contact information here, )

The CR contained another pro-family victory:passage of two amendments introduced by Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) that prohibited the use of federal funds contained in the FY 2011 budget to implement and enforce ObamaCare.The first King amendment prohibited federal funds from being used to implement ObamaCare provisions.The second King amendment prohibited funds from being used to pay salaries of federal employees of departments or agencies attempting to implement ObamaCare.

The tough votes that the House took last week will likely be undone by the liberal Democrats. The CR now goes to the Senate where it is likely that Senator Reid (D-Nevada) will substitute his own pro-abortion/anti-family version into the House bill.

Worse, the federal government is funded only through Friday, March 4.Congress is talking about passing a two-week stopgap measure that would keep the government funded, but this is likely not to include all of our pro-life provisions, nor would it include the Pence Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.This stopgap measure would likely include $4 billion in cuts, probably to programs that the Democrats have already agreed to eliminate and not likely to eliminate Title X Family Planning, UNFPA, or International Family Planning.

Action Item

The battles to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal ObamaCare are far from over.Please call your Senators and urge them to support the House CR with the Pence Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood and the King amendments to withhold funds for ObamaCare.

Please call your Representatives and urge them to oppose any stopgap CR that does not protect life and family.Please encourage them to stick by their principles and not to waiver.

Click here to find the contact information for your Representative and Senators.