Abortion Congress

Try to Contain Your Shock

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

President Obama submitted a $1.8 billion funding request to Congress to fight the Zika virus, a mosquito-born virus that can cause fetal deformities, but not surprisingly, our Republican-controlled Congress isn't exactly jumping to give it to him.

While Congressional Democrats have urged their colleagues to pass the measure without delay, Congressional Republicans want to go through the committee process and ensure none of the funding is used to pay for abortion.

House Appropriations spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said, “The committee will carefully review the request when it is received.” [...]

But, like with other recent spending bills, contentious policy issues could complicate the proposals journey to passage. One is whether funds that would be allocated under the White House’s plan could be used for abortions in cases where Zika has caused birth defects on unborn children.

[White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest] said he hopes lawmakers can resolve such issues in a way that allows them to still quickly approve the proposal.

I wouldn't count on it.

Even if none of the funding was ever going to be used for that purpose, it doesn't matter. So-called "pro-lifers" in the conservative entertainment complex are already writing furious screeds against the president's request to fight the virus.

Under the Hyde Amendment -- a policy Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for repealing -- taxpayer dollars cannot be used to pay for abortion, but movement conservatives will swear to you that taxpayer funds are used to pay for abortion every day. It doesn't matter if it isn't true. Their threshold to declare that something is true is the moment the idea enters their head.

I expect Congress will eventually pass a measure to fight the virus, but I also expect the final package will be considerably less than the president has requested and passage will not occur until various committee members have had a chance to bleat about abortion during an election year.

  • muselet

    “The two areas where we’ll want to get a better understanding at the briefing: Number one, what are the preparations being made to protect Americans? Number two, what are the administration’s funding priorities given limited federal resources?” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday.

    In other words, the Rs will slow-walk the request, argue endlessly over extraneous anti-abortion language, strip out all funding for international efforts, and appropriate maybe 5% of the requested amount, then will throw a tantrum and blame Barack Obama and the Ds if a US citizen is diagnosed with Zika.

    Must be a day that ends in a ‘y’.

    –alopecia

  • Jesus jumping on a pogostick. Aaaargh!!!

  • ninjaf

    It will probably take a Republican’s child or grandchild being affected directly before anyone will break to pass it. Because if it doesn’t affect them directly in some way, they have no ability to empathize.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Even then, they’ll approve only thee action needed to help their child. Other people’s children will still be of little concern to them.