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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 358, Protect Life Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. FOXX. The question before the House is: Should the House now consider H. Res. 430? While the resolution waives all points of order against consideration of the bill, the committee is not aware of any points of order. The waiver is prophylactic in nature.

The Congressional Budget Office has stated that H.R. 358 contains no intergovernmental or private sector mandates, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, and would impose no cost on State, local, or tribal governments. Again, Madam Speaker, this waiver is prophylactic, and the motion of the gentlewoman is dilatory.

I would like to now yield 3 minutes to my distinguished colleague from Wisconsin


Ms. FOXX. I yield myself the balance of my time.

Madam Speaker, I find it unbelievable that our colleagues across the aisle could make the comments that they are making today. H.R. 358 takes away no protections from women in this country. It takes away no rights of women. It is not extreme.

Seventy-seven percent of the people in this country are opposed to taxpayer funding for abortions. What H.R. 358 does is to say we are going to make it absolutely certain that we are not going to use taxpayer funding to pay for abortions, even under what has become known as ObamaCare. This bill does not go beyond the pale, as our colleagues have said. It is not outside the mainstream. It is our colleagues across the aisle who are outside the mainstream. They represent 23 percent of the people in this country who do want to see taxpayer funding for abortions. They are outside the mainstream.

And talk about dilatory, this whole point of order is dilatory. It is an effort on their part to simply bring up issues that are irrelevant. And in many cases, the points made are not true. They are the ones who are wasting time. They say we should be dealing with the jobs bill.

Well, Madam Speaker, let me point out to our colleagues across the aisle that not one of them who spoke today, not one of them who gave 1-minutes on the jobs bill have cared to be cosponsors of the jobs bill. The jobs bill, which President Obama has been asking the Congress to pass, was defeated in the Senate.

It was introduced in the House by one Member, and he put on the bill, ``by request.'' That means it was a courtesy to the President. No other Member across the aisle has chosen to cosponsor that bill. If they are so eager to get that bill passed, you would think that they would become cosponsors of the bill.

We are doing a lot on our side of the aisle to create jobs. We are doing our best to reduce spending and to reduce rules and regulations, and that will create jobs in this country.

Additional spending by the Federal Government doesn't create jobs. We know that from the stimulus bill that was passed in 2009.

And for my colleagues across the aisle who say that this is a misogynist bill, nobody has ever fought more for the rights of women than I have. But 50 percent of the unborn babies that are being aborted are females. So the misogyny comes from those who promote the killing of unborn babies. That's where the misogyny comes in, Madam Speaker. It doesn't come in from our trying to protect taxpayers' money from being spent on killing unborn children.

Madam Speaker, in order to allow the House to continue its scheduled business for the day, I urge Members to vote ``yes'' on the question of consideration of the resolution, and I yield back the balance of my time.


Ms. FOXX. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I am a little appalled at some of the comments that I have heard across the aisle, especially those that say talking about jobs is more important than talking about saving lives.

I don't believe there are many Americans who would agree with our colleagues who say that we in this country pride ourselves on saving lives at every opportunity, both humans, animals, any form of life, and I believe this is a worthy debate for us to be having today.


Ms. FOXX. Madam Speaker, I want to remind my colleagues across the aisle that they are entitled to form their own opinions, but they are not entitled to form their own facts which are in opposition to what is true.

Our colleagues across the aisle know that the Hyde amendment applies only to discretionary spending, has to be introduced every year into the appropriations bill, and has never applied to mandatory spending.

The Affordable Care Act is mandatory spending, and if the protection for life were in the Affordable Care Act, then why did President Obama issue his Executive order saying that he was clarifying the issue?


Ms. FOXX. I yield myself 1 minute.

Madam Speaker, our colleague across the aisle I think was not here earlier when we talked about the fact that the jobs bill, which he says has overwhelming support by the American people, was introduced by request and has not a single cosponsor. I'm curious as to why he is not a cosponsor if he thinks we should be bringing up that bill.

I would also like to point out again that this bill, this rule, is not a war on women. And if this is such a cruel act, I want to point out that this is a bipartisan bill, and that the support for not giving taxpayer funding for abortions has always been nonpartisan or bipartisan in this House.

This is not purely a Republican issue. I thank God every day for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are pro-life.


Ms. FOXX. Madam Speaker, I would like to point out to my colleague across the aisle that if we have a constitutional right for taxpayer funding of abortions, then we should have a right to taxpayer funding of guns. The Second Amendment allows us to keep and bear arms.

I now would like to yield 3 minutes to our distinguished colleague from Louisiana, Dr. Cassidy.


Ms. FOXX. I yield myself the balance of my time.

Madam Speaker, our position on taxpayer funding for elective abortion is bipartisan, bicameral, and supported by the majority of the American people. We all know that.

I'd like to point out to my colleagues across the aisle when they keep saying we need to be talking about jobs, when the Democrats took control of the Congress in 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. Between then and the time that Republicans regained control of the House this January, the unemployment rate rose to over 9 percent--6.9 million more Americans became unemployed during that period of time. I'd also like to point out to my colleague that the constitutional authority for H.R. 358 is in the Congressional Record. He knows it's required when the bill is introduced.

Madam Speaker, the American people are probably a little confused by listening to this debate because they hear two very conflicting stories. I would like to urge them to go to H.R. 358 is only nine pages long. It's very simple to read. It's not like what they call the Affordable Care Act, which we had to get passed before we would know what was in it.

There is nothing more important, Madam Speaker, than protecting voiceless, unborn children and their families from the travesty of abortion. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to put aside all this rhetoric that has been spoken of in this debate today and vote for life by voting in favor of this rule and the underlying bill.

But, Madam Speaker, the Republican-led House has also been working hard to rein in out-of-control government spending and represent the majority of the American people who elected us, and we know that by reining in spending we could do something to help create jobs. So we are not a one-note party. We understand we can do both of those things.

The bill before us today is a continuing effort to steward the taxpayer money wisely, represent the majority of Americans who believe taxpayer money should not be used to pay for elective abortions, and, thereby, protect innocent life.

Last year, as others have said, the liberal Democrats rammed through their overall health care legislation and refused to include standard pro-life protections that have had broad bipartisan support in the past.

The rule before us today provides for consideration of H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, which prohibits taxpayer funding for elective abortions under ObamaCare and also prohibits the Federal Government from forcing private insurance companies to offer plans that cover elective abortions. It does not take away any rights of women.

In addition, the underlying bill ensures that taxpayer subsidies for purchasing health insurance plans on the ObamaCare exchanges are not used to pay for plans that cover elective abortions, and does not allow the Federal Government to administer health plans that cover elective abortions. This is consistent with the history in our country of not using taxpayer funding for elective abortions.

Finally, the bill provides for conscience protections for pro-life health providers and entities to ensure they are not discriminated against for their pro-life beliefs and practices.

This bill has gone through regular committee consideration and passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on February 15 with bipartisan support. The need for this legislation is critical, as the Institute of Medicine recommended in July that what has come to be called ObamaCare should cover emergency contraception with no copay or deductible. Many pro-life conservatives are concerned that their recommendation is a slippery slope to, again, what has been known as ObamaCare mandating and covering elective abortions, because the law does not contain specific longstanding pro-life protections.

A Zogby poll last year found that 77 percent of Americans believe Federal taxpayer funds should never pay for abortion or should pay only to save the life of the mother, and it is unacceptable that the liberal Democrats ignored the will of the people last year in ramming through their government takeover of health care.

As you can see, Madam Speaker, the vast majority of Americans don't want their tax dollars paying for or promoting abortion.

This isn't part of a radical agenda, as some of our friends on the left like to say. This is part of a longstanding and growing social consensus. Americans do not want their tax dollars supporting the abortion industry or promoting this terrible practice.

In May this House passed H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This legislation would codify many longstanding pro-life provisions and ensure that taxpayer money is not being used to perform abortions. H.R. 3 is now awaiting consideration in the Senate.

As a proud cosponsor of H.R. 3 and H.R. 358, I will not cease to fight to protect the lives of the unborn at every turn. Since 1973, approximately 52 million children's lives have been tragically aborted in the United States. Until we have a permanent prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and protection for health care providers who cherish life, I will continue to offer and support efforts to protect taxpayers' families and children from the scourge of abortion.

The unborn are the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society, and their right to life must be protected.

Yesterday in the Rules Committee our friends across the aisle who spoke against this rule and bill said we're bringing up ``hot-button social issues as diversions from the important topic of jobs.''

I have two responses to them on that comment. The issue of life is not a hot-button social issue; it's at the very core of our values as a country. We go to extraordinary lengths to save not only human beings, but even animals, because we value life so much. However, there are many who do not hold the unborn in the same esteem, and that is tragic for more than 1 billion unborn babies every year.

Therefore, Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this rule in favor of the underlying bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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