This week, the Senate is working on appropriations before the looming November 22nd deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

When the Chamber passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 raising the debt limit, lawmakers agreed to not include any poison pills, new riders, or changes that would create higher spending levels. Unfortunately, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment, S. Amdt. 948, that has been adopted in the bill reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

This amendment undermines the life-protecting Mexico City Policy and is a violation of the agreement in the Bipartisan Budget Act. The Mexico City Policy, more recently referred to as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), ensures that American taxpayer money is not being given to foreign non-governmental organizations that promote abortion abroad.

However, domestic organizations that work abroad are not subject to PLGHA and Senator Shaheen’s amendment allocates $665 million for "family planning and reproductive health care," which essentially guarantees that abortion will be promoted abroad. The amendment also includes provisions requiring USAID to report discrimination when patients have been denied family planning services. According to the Senator, the policy “would ensure biases by the administration regarding reproductive health do not interfere or alter the delivery of services on the ground.”

On October 17, 2019 Eagle Forum President Eunie Smith supported a letter sent to Leader Mitch McConnell and Leader Kevin McCarthy expressing our concerns with the inclusion of the Sheehan amendment. The amendment is an attack on the many pro-life policies that President Trump and his administration have enacted overseas, including the PLGHA.

On Wednesday, Senators upheld pro-life policy and rejected a State and Foreign Operations package that included the Shaheen amendment. Eagle Forum will continue to track the appropriations process in our effort to ensure our money is being spent in a responsible manner. We are thankful for this win!

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Mike Scruggs