House expected to pass bill banning taxpayer funds for abortion
January 28th, 2014
02:50 PM ET
9 months ago

House expected to pass bill banning taxpayer funds for abortion

Washington (CNN) - On the same day that the top Republican woman in the House will deliver the response to the President's State of the Union message, the GOP-led House of Representatives is expected to pass a controversial bill on an issue that divides women.

The Republican measure would ban taxpayer money for abortions.

Sponsored by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, the legislation is similar to previous bills passed by the House, and would put into law a ban that is included each year in annual spending bills that prevent any federal funds to be used for abortion services.

But this year's version includes provisions that take aim at the new health care law. It bans Americans who qualify for Obamacare subsidies to purchase health insurance from buying plans that cover abortion services. It also says that employees of small businesses that use tax credits to help pay the costs of new health care coverage cannot use that money for plans that cover abortions.

"This bill would establish a permanent prohibition on taxpayer subsidies for abortion," Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said on the House floor on Tuesday. She argued the yearly provision included in spending bills is not sufficient and this measure is needed to "get rid of the patchwork approach."

GOP to have all-woman SOTU response

"Under Obamacare, billions of dollars in the form of tax credits are today buying abortion-subsidizing health insurance plans in exchanges throughout the country," Smith said at last week's anti-abortion March for Life rally. "For example, of the 112 health insurance plans available to members of Congress and staff, most, that is, 103 plans pay for abortion on demand."

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, who was tapped by GOP leaders to give the response to the President's speech, has a son who was born with Down syndrome, and is a supporter of anti-abortion legislation. Conservatives who have been pushing for more congressional action to restrict access to abortions are hoping she will use her national platform to discuss the issue.

House Democrats dismissed the legislation as another "message bill" designed to appeal to religious conservatives in the GOP base.

Florida Rep. Lois Frankel recounted a story of finding her young friend Flora 40 years ago, bleeding from an abortion, which was illegal at the time.

"Today our Republican colleagues are once again trying to take us back to those days with a new radical bill to deny our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, the right to obtain and safe and legal abortion," she said.

But Republican aides maintain that the debate and vote over the bill does not take away from their focus on economic issues this year, and point to public opinion polls they say show a majority of Americans oppose using any taxpayer money to pay for abortions.

The measure also includes a provision requiring the Obama administration to make information public about which insurance plans in the federal exchanges cover abortion services. As previous versions have done, the bill bans Washington, D.C., whose federal funds are overseen by Congress, from using any of those dollars to support health services that include abortion.

The Democratic-led Senate is not expected to take up the bill, and the White House issued a veto threat on it Monday.

CNN's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.


Filed under: Abortion • Cathy McMorris Rodgers
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. regenesis0

    *sigh*
    This is so tiresome.

    January 28, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    More go-nowhere, dead on arrival, womb-control fantasies and war on women symbolic political messaging masturbation from the party of christo-fascist nutjobbery. Waste more time and money to stroke your base why don't you. YAWN.

    January 28, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. O'drama ya Mama

    Why would they even want that in the headlines the same night they claim to be reaching out to women? What do you do when a women has a miscarriage? Do you know what they call those in hospitals? Spontaneous abortions.

    January 28, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    You republicans are never going to learn. I guess we'll just have to vote you out of office to stop your radical legislation. The war on women continues.

    January 28, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    And now you know why Huckabee and other GOPers/Teatrolls and Faux News, including Hannity today proposing an "adopt a woman" program that couldn't be more insulting to women, have turned up the rhetoric over the past couple weeks about this subject and gone on the warpath insulting Wendy Davis (thanks Erick Erickson, please keep talking, genius) and then choosing a woman to respond to SOTU. Their misogyny, the religious underpinnings of their attempts to force their beliefs on the rest of us and their disgusting rhetoric towards women in general is readily apparent, on full display and picking a female salesperson for this abhorrent nonsense will not help sell it to the majority of women in this country. EVER. Please proceed, pigs.

    January 28, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. pkMyt1

    Why can't these wingnuts in the GOP stop cramming their religious beliefs down our throats and start governing our country? They really will not be happy until the US is ruled by religious zealots like Iran.

    January 28, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. much thunder...little rain

    dems war on women who dont fall lock step

    January 28, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    The ish just don't stop with these people. More abortion legislation and still nothing on those jobs, jobs, jobs.

    Let women make their own decisions. We don't need men to do it for us. Many of us women are way smarter than the average male. No offense guys, seriously. But I have met some dumb guys in my life. One had the audacity to brag that he got passed through school because he was a football player. I remember telling him, that's nothing to brag about, especially because he was dumb as dirt.

    January 28, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Bill

    A party of the cusp of extinction.

    January 28, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. TONE

    Why don't they come up with a jobs bill?

    January 28, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    TONE

    Why don't they come up with a jobs bill?
    -----------------------–
    By some twisted logic, this is a jobs bill. It helps to promote nannies and, of course, their beloved nanny state.

    January 28, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    The house republicans are the dumbest welfare abusers in our history. Controlling uteri is not a jobs bill.

    January 28, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one.

    January 28, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    According to the GOP, Uncle Sugar only can pay for Viagra and male enhancement drugs.

    January 28, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    "Many of us women are way smarter than the average male."
    ---------
    I'd like to think so... but if a sexually active woman gets knocked up from failure to use birth control OR insisting that her partner use birth control... well, that's just not very smart.

    Guys, on the other hand, just are thoughtless SOB's who don't have to deal with the repercussions of their selfishness.

    January 28, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. morrie

    This is the type of bills that you will get with these republicans. They are not interested in jobs. They just want to control women next thing you know republicans will have women wearing burquas

    January 28, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    GOP: "No we really are FOR women and equal healthcare opportunity. No really we ARE. No I mean it. We are NOT trying to establish a state religion. Why is everyone laughing?"

    January 28, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Uncle Sugar provides tax subsidies for corporations that harbor money overseas. How about a bill putting an end to corporate welfare GOTP?

    January 28, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Thomas

    The GOP is sure marketing Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state as the anti Hillary .

    She looks more like the new and improved Sarah Palin in a blue dress.

    January 28, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    @O'drama ya Mama
    Why would they even want that in the headlines the same night they claim to be reaching out to women? What do you do when a women has a miscarriage? Do you know what they call those in hospitals? Spontaneous abortions.
    ----------
    Probably not covered then. These Theocracy folks don't really think of the consequences of their religious pandering. They probably think that the miscarriage patient must have been a sinner and it is God's punishment on her. This theocracy stuff has GOT to stop. The founders of this country never envisioned a Christian take over.
    “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
    ~James Madison, 1819

    January 28, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. rs

    This really borders on mental illness GOPpers- really is this ALL you think about? Enough, already- we get that you gave to control aspects of women's reproduction systems. Have you thought about getting help? Maybe Dr. Phil is available.....

    January 28, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Is it true that former Arkansas Gov. Mike "Uncle Sugar" Huckabee signed into a law a bill requiring health insurers to cover the cost of contraceptives, including most religious organizations in the state? In fact, the ACA allows for more relidious excemptions than the bill that Huckabee signed in 2006(?).

    January 28, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Hector Slagg

    Aw, Well,
    A Billion here, a Billion there, pretty soon we talking real money. Hell let the Tax Payers pay for everything. It's not a war on women, it's a war on those that work and make something of themselves. They ain't paying their fair share! Those crumbs the Liberal's are leaving you are getting scarce indeed. You want to steal from the Job's Creators. Hope you can swim because most of it is Offshore. Where's your 24 Billion? Where's my 17 Trillion. Up in smoke and now the Libs are screaming for more.

    January 28, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Thomas

    The GOP is sure marketing Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state as the anti Hillary .

    She looks more like the new and improved Sarah Palin in a blue dress.
    ------------------------------------
    Oh, is that who that is? Here I had thought that it was Dorothy Hamill.

    January 28, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    TONE

    Why don't they come up with a jobs bill?
    -------––
    By some twisted logic, this is a jobs bill. It helps to promote nannies and, of course, their beloved nanny state.
    ---------
    And after the dawn of the Great Christian Nation Theocracy, we will have lots of jobs for morality police, book burners, and witch hunters.

    January 28, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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