U.S. House passes $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that keeps funding Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON, DC, March 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The House of Representatives passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill to finance the federal government through the 2018 fiscal year, leaving Planned Parenthood’s annual subsidies untouched in the process.
The 256-167 vote comes less than a day after congressional Republican leaders unveiled the final bill’s text Wednesday night, leaving lawmakers unable to fully review it before voting. Congress has until midnight Friday to approve a spending plan to prevent a government shutdown.
The legislation has earned disapproval from many Republicans for its priorities, among them the fact that it continues the more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood receives each year.
The omnibus does retain existing language forbidding funds from being used on abortions (except in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies). However, pro-lifers have long noted that taxpayers' money Planned Parenthood receives for other purposes still indirectly aids the abortion business, by freeing more revenue from other sources to be spent on abortions.
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Several pro-life members of Congress have voiced their disgust with the bill.
“It’s a good thing we have Republican control of Congress or the Democrats might bust the budget caps, fund planned parenthood [sic] and Obamacare, and sneak gun control without due process into an Omni...wait, what?” Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, tweeted Wednesday.
“I think it's not good for the American taxpayer, not consistent, anywhere close to consistent, to what we said we would do when they elected us in 2016,” Jordan said yesterday.
The Freedom Caucus, a collection of the House’s more conservative lawmakers, sent a letter Wednesday to President Donald Trump, urging him to veto the omnibus on behalf of the “countless forgotten men and women of America who placed their faith in you to change business as usual in Washington, D.C.”
However, while Trump pledged on the campaign trail to defund the abortion giant, and has proposed budgets that would have done so, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has confirmed he will sign the omnibus.
It is not yet known when the Senate will vote on the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, quipped that it depends “when Sen. Paul decides we can,” a reference to Paul unilaterally delaying votes on past bills to which he objected. Paul says he is undecided whether to hold up this one.
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