GOP Freshmen: Budget Deals Weakening Pro-Life Bills

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WASHINGTON -- Freshmen GOP congressmen are angry over budget compromises that they say are weakening pro-life legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

One of those compromises includes a spending deal Democrats and Republicans reached Thursday night, preventing a government shutdown at midnight. 

The deal meant both sides having to drop provisions they hold near and dear: curbs on education for Democrats and energy regulations for Republicans.
    
"It's amazing that we have this huge influx of pro-life freshman and the result is essentially the same as it was just a year ago," Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. told CBN News.

Huelskamp defied party leaders and voted "no" on the measure because he felt the deal short-changed the House's pro-life record.

"What we spend money on reflects our priorities," Huelskamp said. "And in this bill we will still send approximately $300 million to the largest abortion provider in the world, Planned Parenthood."

The Kansas lawmaker noted that the bill:

  • Doesn't offer permanent conscience protections to keep health care providers from being forced to perform abortions.
        
  • Doesn't withhold funding from the United Nations population fund, which supports China's one-child policy.
         
  • Does not reinstate an executive policy banning international abortion funding.

Congress has had all year to work on the 2012 budget, but in a divided Congress, getting a Republican-controlled House to agree with the Democratically-controled Senate seemed virtually impossible.

This latest bill shows how difficult it is to please everyone on Capitol Hill.

"I think we have to be realistic, and we have to accept the victories that we have achieved in this bill, solidify them, and move on for the battle of the next day," Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., told CBN News.

Hartlzer acknowledges that she would have liked the deal to go farther, but it should be viewed as a down payment.

"We were able to secure the reductions and I think that's an important first step," Hartzler told CBN News.

But Anna Franzonello, staff counsel Americans United for Life, views the matter differently.

"What we're looking at is a pro-abortion Senate being backed by an even bigger pro-abortion bully in the White House," she said.
    
Nevertheless, pro-life groups like AUL say they remain hopeful for the prospects of more congressional support in the future.

"We are still excited even with the setbacks we see in the White House and the Senate in particular," he said.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., is one of the pro-life lawmakers who's displeased with Thursday's negotiations. He shared his insights on the latest spending bill on the CBN News Channel's Morning News, Dec. 16.

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