This week, the House considered four spending bills pertaining to Labor, Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Energy and Water, and State and Foreign Operations. Democrats loaded the $1 TRILLION bill with massive spending that unravels the progress of the Trump Administration.
The first priority on Democrats’ list was to eliminate all pro-life provisions. The Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions, came under attack after several members sponsored an amendment to not only strike the Hyde Amendment but also force federal health care programs to fund abortions and block states from preventing private insurers from funding abortions. Because this amendment is so broad, it will likely be thrown out by the Rules Committee. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) offered an amendment similar to Hyde that prevents Washington, D.C. from using taxpayer money to pay for abortions. It, unfortunately, failed in committee.
Other members are trying to roll back pro-life rules that HHS has implemented recently. An amendment has been offered to stop HHS’s restrictions on fetal tissue research. This was in response to HHS’s announcement just last week. Additionally, the spending package eliminates the conscience protection rule, the Title X rule that restricts funding to abortion providers, eliminates the Mexico City Policy, defunds sexual risk avoidance education, and entitles women in the military to free contraception including the morning after pill.
Special protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity are peppered throughout the bill. Foster care and adoption agencies must comply with a regulation from the Obama Administration that forces them to place children with caregivers who may suffer from gender dysphoria. In addition, an amendment has been offered to stop the implementation of the Trump Administration’s restrictions on transgender service in the military.
Another continued target for House Democrats is, of course, immigration. Ironically, this bill funds border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia, but explicitly prohibits any funding for border security infrastructure. It also prohibits ICE from working with HHS to detain or remove sponsors of unaccompanied alien children. Many of these sponsors pay cartels to smuggle children over the border putting the children at risk of inhumane treatment in the process.
The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in opposition to this bill along with a veto threat because of these issues and more. The statement highlights that the bill will raise spending caps by $350 billion in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. This alone will add $2 TRILLION to our $22 TRILLION national debt.
The House was originally considering a fifth bill that funds the Legislative Branch. However, after disagreements over a pay raise for Congressional members, the bill was pulled.