As Congress faces the April 28 deadline to pass a new government funding bill, many are wondering what the Republican-led House and Senate will fund and what it won’t, including the border wall and Planned Parenthood.
In other words, will the GOP help Trump keep his campaign promise to fund a wall, while defunding Planned Parenthood?
Since beginning his run for office in 2015, Trump has promised to build a “great, great wall on our southern border.” And just two months before taking office, Trump released a letter to pro-life leaders, stating he was committed to “Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and re-allocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.”
During his inaugural address, Trump reiterated his promise about the border. “We will bring back our borders,” said the president. Then, three days later, he signed an executive order to reinstate the Mexico City policy that denies federal funding to organizations that promote or perform abortions abroad.
Backing the president, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the March for Life a week after Trump’s inauguration, stating both the president and the Republican-controlled Congress would keep their pro-life promises, stating, “That is evident, in the election of pro-life majorities in the Congress of the United States of America. But it is no more evident, in any way, than in the historic election of a president who stands for a stronger America, a more prosperous America, and a president who, I proudly say, stands for the right to life — President Donald Trump.”
Pence added, “That’s why this administration will work with the Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers, and we will devote those resources to health care services for women across America.”
In 2011, then-Rep. Pence also tried to pass an amendment in the House that would “deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates for the rest of the fiscal year.”
Although the Republican-majority House passed the amendment and included it in the first funding bill approved by the House after Republicans won back control in 2011, then-House Speaker John Boehner subsequently cut a spending deal with Senate Democrats and the Obama White House that didn’t include Pence’s amendment.
In 2012, Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates received $400.56 million in Medicaid reimbursements from both federal and state dollars, according to the Congressional Research Service, as determined by the Government Accountability Office (GOA).
The first attempt at the revised healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act included language that would have cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood — but just for a period of one year. That bill did not make it to the House floor for a vote, and a new revision is just starting to be discussed.
With the revised funding bill just a few days away, language that funds the border wall but not Planned Parenthood would be vital to fulfilling Trump’s promises.
Currently, however, it appears that while there is chatter about whether or not the bill will include language requesting $1.4 billion to build Trump’s border wall, there has been no talk indicating the bill will include language to defund Planned Parenthood.
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