GOP adds 'conscience clause' to spending bill
September 28th, 2013
07:13 PM ET
12 months ago

GOP adds 'conscience clause' to spending bill

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.

A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.

The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.


With this move, House Republican leaders would give any employer or group health plan the ability to opt out of contraception coverage for the next year. That time frame syncs up with the larger measure in which this is included: a one-year delay of Obamacare provisions not yet in effect.

“This is a big deal for the congressman,” Huelskamp’s spokesman, Paul Nelson, told CNN. “He has been pushing for (the conscience clause) since he entered Congress.”

Democrats say the measure is unnecessary because the administration has granted exemptions to contraceptive coverage to religious nonprofit institutions. But advocates, such as Huelskamp, insist that all institutions should be able to opt out of any preventative coverage for women that they find objectionable.

The addition of the “conscience clause” ties a heated social issue to the already sharp shutdown debate.

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Trevor

    I'm tired of people with imaginary friends having any sort of say in what happens in this country. Religion is nothing more than socially accepted insanity and it needs to end.
    The argument "I don't want to provide birth control because the invisible man in the sky will get angry" is insane.

    September 29, 2013 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  2. GubnitSPY

    The intelligent republican complains about all these minorities who are having children but don't to give them contraceptives? I think their solution is to have starve to death by turning off the food, its faster this way.

    September 29, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  3. GubnitSPY

    The intelligent republican complains about minorities having children on the dole ...but doesn't want to give them FREE contraceptives? I think the GOP's solution is to have them starve to death by turning off the food, it's faster this way.

    September 29, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  4. ljj

    What morons! And when the Republicans all get voted out in 2014, they will act dumbfounded as to why they didn't get re-elected!

    September 29, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  5. Dr. Craig Coelho

    This is nothing but a cynical ploy to garner support from the religious communities for the GOP effort to derail and defund the Affordable Healthcare Act.

    September 29, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  6. Chris Winfield

    Nope....no war on women there.

    September 29, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  7. edward

    GOP has no conscience. They don't care if Americans have health care. They get free health care from the American people whom they want to deny health care to. GOP should be thrown out of office and jailed for there corruption, stealing the tax payer dollars. They sit on capital hill and get paid to do nothing. millions of dollars spent on trying to do away with Obama care 40times they tried, What a waste of money. And the Americans against it are the ones that have health care.

    September 29, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  8. mary

    Why the heck do the republicans want to limit preventative care for women, but nothing about men?

    September 29, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  9. Richard Blankenburg

    The House of Rep. Republicans' "Conscience Clause" added to the Spending Bill, dramatically and emphatically express their basic Republican tenet that Republicans are determined to keep American women barefoot and pregnant!

    September 29, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  10. Determined

    The ROP is getting dumber and dumber. Now they want to control medical care for women. You can't fix Stupid. Vote them out of office!

    September 29, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  11. KEVIN

    Contraceptives? I could see abotion but not something like "the pill"

    September 29, 2013 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  12. Pk dusterm

    Gop is worse then thn ussr

    September 29, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  13. What's in that tea anyway?

    I just never thought the Tea folks were this crazy....one would think at some point they would say..."we love this country too much to burn it to the ground over people getting healthcare" but alas, it seems hate, divisiveness, utter extremism to the point of near treason has won out. Next we will be hearing about 2nd Amendment remedies....when does the sane part of the the Tea Party show up? This is such a shame, the Tea Party couldn't win the national election so their plans are to destroy it all for everybody....that's a really twisted part of what they call patriotism but its far from anything like that.

    September 29, 2013 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  14. oboy

    Grandpa's Old Party has only gotten worse since Romney's loss. The GOP has become a joke. It is time for me to change end my membership at the Republican party of Fox Noise and the Koch brothers.

    September 29, 2013 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  15. Andres

    I am beginning to think the Republicans have made such a big trap that they will indeed fck things up this time and end up shutting the government up. What about the US Credit rating then? I am so sick and tired of the tactics used by the tea bangers.

    September 29, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  16. nancy phillips

    I wonder how many unwanted children the house republican "leaders" have adopted?

    September 29, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  17. nybrit

    Who knew House Republicans had a conscience.

    September 29, 2013 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  18. Larry282

    It's time We The People took our government back from the tea party and other extremists. We used to be able to compromise and work together for The People. That is obviously no longer possible. Too bad, this was once a great country and I've enjoyed living here for the past 71 years, but I think now you can have it. It's no longer a democracy or a republic. It's being ruled by a bunch of extremists which are destroying the country and its government.

    September 29, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  19. sandvichmancer

    Wow. Just wow.
    At this point they might as well add in a clause against gay marriage, against abortion, a clause that finances a 20ft tall concrete wall across the southern US border with no entryways, and a cut in all non-state taxes.

    September 29, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  20. Marie MD

    The only objectionable human beings are those who are obsessed with women's reproductive system even more than women are.
    They didn't learn in the last two failed general elections that these are not the Middle Ages.
    It's the 21st century and women are not going to allow men (and some red women) to tell them what, how, with whom and when they can be women.

    September 29, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  21. kingfisher

    Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.

    September 29, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  22. MaevenBeMe

    Free contraception. Too bad they can't force people to use it.

    September 29, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  23. Fantom

    The Republicans will just NEVER learn...half of this world is female!! Sooner or later the backlash is going to come and there will be no Republican party, as such. They need to get out of the business of making slaves out of the business of making slaves of half the population!! Where on God's Earth do these cretans come from??

    September 29, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  24. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Guns Over People tea potty War on women contines. They never learn.

    September 29, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  25. Kayfeet

    I find the phrase "for women that they find objectionable" very ironic. I realize this is not what the reporter intended, but the GOP's stance on this and other issues does give me to believe that the party as little respect or appreciation for women.

    September 29, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
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