House Republicans unveiled their next major legislative push yesterday: the No Tax-Payer Funding for Abortion Act, which, as its name implies, would ban federal funding of abortion. It would essentially make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which does the same thing but must be renewed each year. They introduced that legislation alongside the Protect Act, which would specifically ban abortion funding under the health care reform law.
Independent fact checkers have said that the health care reform law won’t allow for abortion funding, Politico points out, but Republicans insist that the wording is too vague. Abortion legislation has a habit of dying in committee, but this time it’s getting a major push from leadership. John Boehner designated it HR3 “which speaks volumes about priorities,” says the bill’s main sponsor, Chris Smith. “This leadership … believes in this. This is not about political expediency.”