Urge Support for Pro-Life Policies in Annual Funding Bills
Fiscal Year 2008 begins October 1, 2007. Between now and then Congress has the task of passing the 12 annual appropriations bills. Passage of these bills – or temporary Continuing Resolutions – is necessary if the federal government is to have the money to continue to function.
A number of pro-life policies are attached as riders to appropriations bills. These riders must be included in the bills each year. For example: the Hyde Amendment restricting government funding of abortions (Labor/HHS/Education); the Kemp-Kasten Amendment that enables the Administration to deny funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as long as the UNFPA continues to support China’s coercive population control program (State/Foreign Operations); the Dickey-Wicker Amendment that bans the use of federal funds for research harmful to the human embryo (Labor/HHS/Education); restricting the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plans from covering abortions (Financial Services/General Government); a ban on paying for prison abortions (Commerce/Justice/Science).
In a separate category is the Mexico City Policy (MCP), which is an administration policy that denies federal funding to overseas organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning. Ever since President Bush reinstated this policy in 2001, abortion advocates have tried to overturn the policy by passing free-standing authorization measures and by adding amendments to appropriations bills (State/Foreign Operations).
Rep. David Obey (D-WI) is Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is the Ranking Member. For a list of the 67 Representatives who serve on the Appropriations Committee, with links to the Subcommittee rosters, see: appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml.Democratic leadership had intended to complete floor action on 11 of the 12 appropriations bills before the Independence Day recess, but that schedule has been adjusted. The State/Foreign Operations bill and the Financial Services/General Government bill could be completed before the recess, but the Labor/Heath and Human Services/Education bill might be delayed until July.
ACTION: Contact your Representative by FAX letter, e-mail, and by phone. Please check to see if your Representative serves on the Appropriations Committee. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or call your Representative’s local office. For access to Representatives’ full contact information, see: www.house.gov.
MESSAGE: “Please do what you can to uphold pro-life policies in the annual appropriations bills.”
WHEN: House Subcommittees have begun to markup appropriations bills. House floor action is expected to continue throughout June and July.
6/8/07; updated 6/15/07