As the Senate prepares to debate the COVID-19 Relief bill, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) observed the bill provides $400 billion that contains no protections for ensuring it will not be used to fund elective abortion.
Daines tweeted a video of his review of some of the features of the measure, which passed the House Friday, referring to it as the “liberal wish list” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY):
.@JoeBiden, Pelosi and Schumer’s “COVID-19 relief package” is nothing more than a 628 page liberal wish list.
Let’s dig in to some of Nancy Pelosi's greatest hits. It’s not pretty. pic.twitter.com/1azoepEIWX
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) March 4, 2021
“Here’s one that will get your blood pressure up,” said Daines, who heads the Senate Pro-Life Caucus. “$400 billion that has no protections to ensure we don’t have taxpayer dollars spent for abortions.”
He explained Democrats removed the language of the Hyde Amendment that has prohibited taxpayer funding of abortions in appropriation bills.
“$400 billion that could be used to fund abortions paid for by United States taxpayers,” the senator emphasized.
In a floor speech in the House prior to the vote on the bill, co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), also called the exclusion of the Hyde Amendment “a radical departure from all previous COVID-19 relief laws,” and one that “mandates taxpayer funding of abortion-on-demand.”
As Catholic News Agency observed, GOP Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Virginia Foxx (NC), and Jackie Walorski (IN) attempted to insert an amendment with the Hyde Amendment language into the measure – one that was cosponsored by 206 House members.
The House Rules Committee, however, refused to allow a vote on that amendment.
Smith pointed out that Joe Biden once agreed that Americans should not be forced to pay for abortions:
Mr. Biden once wrote to constituents explaining his support for laws against funding for abortion by saying it would “protect both the woman and her unborn child… I have consistently—on no fewer than 50 occasions—voted against federal funding of abortion” he said” … those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.”
In an op-ed at the Washington Times, Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, also emphasized only nine percent of the bill’s funding is actually slated to address the public health issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, almost half of the funding in the measure will be held back from distribution until 2022, at the earliest, a time when the pandemic could largely have already subsided.
“A serious relief bill has devolved into a liberal wish list that, of course, funds the abortion industry,” McClusky asserted, explaining how taxpayers would foot the bill for the abortions of others:
Several healthcare-related grants and subsidies in the legislation allow taxpayer dollars to subsidize and directly pay for abortions and healthcare plans covering abortion. These include, but are not limited to, rural healthcare grants, educational grants, funding for the Child Care Stabilization Fund, money allocated to COBRA healthcare plans, testing grants, and massive bailouts for failing state governments.
McClusky noted that the “particularly problematic” portion of the bill lies in the Democrat-state bailouts, where $350 billion places no restrictions on states and localities from using taxpayer funds to pay for elective abortions.
“Under the current guidelines, liberal states like New York and California, which are likely going to receive the lion’s share of the bailout, can funnel millions to abortion giants like Planned Parenthood if they choose,” he observed.
Both the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment, which has barred foreign policy expenses from financing abortion, are ignored in the COVID relief bill, McClusky said.
“Taxpayer dollars allocated in the latest relief bill should be used to help American business owners struggling to keep their dreams alive,” he asserted. “The relief bill shouldn’t be used to exploit the crisis and double-down on extreme abortion policies that hurt the poor, marginalize women, and end innocent human life.”