How much damage can House Democrats do in 1,165 pages? A lot. And Thursday's massive appropriations package was the latest -- and most expensive -- example. If you want a transgender-identifying military, legalized marijuana, taxpayer-funded abortion, medical coercion, genderless shelters, and zero privacy protections, you've got H.R. 7617. And no chance, the president says, of passing it.
Just the name of the bill is enough to give everyone a headache: the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act. But inside those six massive department spending proposals is a dangerous agenda to undermine this president's pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom accomplishments. And despite knowing that it will be dead-on-arrival in its present form, the House voted it through anyway.
Obviously, Republicans know, this is all about election-year messaging. They did their best to stop the liberal laden legislation, including a series of amendments from stalwarts like Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), which would have gotten rid of the special status for LGBT-identifying individuals in HUD housing shelters. Congressman Ron Wright (R-Texas) also took at stab at the Labor portion of the bill, hoping to keep the equal footing for faith-based groups in the agency's contracts. Unfortunately, with the numbers stacked against them, they failed.
But President Trump will have the last word, if the legislation makes it that far. Earlier this week, his team released a statement of administrative policy, outlining its strong opposition to the bill. In a 29-page missive, he takes specific aim at key parts of the package, including its attacks on his pro-life rules.
FRC, in its warning to members, laid out similar concerns, explaining that the proposal "would block the Trump administration's Protect Life Rule, which ensures Title X clinics are not collocated with abortion facilities and prohibits Title X grantees from referring patients for abortions. Second, it would block the implementation of the administration's Conscience Protection Rule that would enforce 25 existing civil rights statutes that protect health-care professionals' conscience rights. Enforcement of these statutes is vital, as the number of conscience complaints received has dramatically increased under the Trump administration. Finally, it would block the administration's rules protecting religious and moral objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage mandate."
On top of that, it eliminates $35 million for Sexual Risk Avoidance Education -- the only sex ed programs that work -- and blocks the government from working with faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that operate by their biblical beliefs.
The administration -- and Republicans in general -- are ready to work with Democrats to get a real budget agreement on the table. But this, they all agree, isn't it.
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