Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today released the following weekly column outlining Republican efforts to repeal and replace the president's new health care law with common-sense solutions focused on lowering health care costs and protecting life. Full text of the column is included below:
"Growing up in a Catholic family with eight brothers and three sisters, I was taught at an early age to believe in the inherent value and dignity of all human life. Like millions of other Americans, I've held these convictions close to my heart throughout my adult life.
"Sadly, federal support for abortion and the abortion industry is growing under President Obama and the majority party in Congress. Public opposition to taxpayer financing of abortion factored significantly in the intense debate over President Obama's massive health-care overhaul. And thanks to the disingenuous way in which the White House and the Democratic congressional leadership thwarted enactment of the pro-life Stupak amendment, which would have barred taxpayer funding of abortion in the new health care law, the issue won't be going away.
"Each month I gather with congressional leaders at the White House for a bipartisan meeting with the president. We discuss the important issues of the day, try to find common ground on legislative proposals, and often ask difficult, but necessary questions. At our most recent meeting, I urged the president to provide the American people with a progress report on the executive order that he signed to purportedly prohibit taxpayer funding from paying for taxpayer dollars, rather than allowing the anti-abortion Stupak amendment to become law.
"As far as anyone can tell, the Obama administration hasn't lifted a finger to implement the executive order, even as it forges ahead aggressively with implementation of the rest of the massive new law. In the weeks since, however, there has been no communication from the White House about the status of his executive order.
"In the meantime, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office has released a study detailing the extent to which the federal government has provided hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding for the abortion in recent years. The GAO report shows that the federal government provided roughly $1 billion in taxpayer funding between Fiscal Years 2002 and 2009 for organizations that promote abortion as a form of family planning. Nearly $660 million of this taxpayer funding has gone to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. This is an indefensible expenditure of taxpayer funds.
"Last month, I joined House Republicans in introducing a new initiative to engage Americans in helping build a new policy agenda for our nation. Already, hundreds of thousands have gone to AmericaSpeakingOut.com to make their voices heard on the issue of federal support for abortion and the abortion industry.
"One user suggests banning "the use of public revenues to promote or perform abortions' -- or codifying the amendment offered by my friend the late Henry Hyde (R-Ill), which would ban taxpayer funds from paying for abortions. If you haven't already, I encourage you to visit AmericaSpeakingOut.com, submit your ideas, and join the discussion.
"Republicans will take many of these common-sense proposals and find ways to offer them as legislative proposals in the House. In fact, recently we adopted a popular idea on AmericaSpeakingOut.com from Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) that would have repealed the unconstitutional individual mandate at the core of the president's health care law and offered it for an up or down vote in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rallied her members to defeat the measure 187-230.
"In the months ahead, House Republicans will continue to listen to the majority of Americans who want to repeal the president's health care law and replace it with better solutions to lower the cost of health care and respect the sanctity of life. Because as I told the president at the White House in February, health care reform should be an opportunity to protect life, not end it."
Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.