UNITED STATES−Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi attempted to hide abortion funding in a slush fund for the new Family First Coronavirus Response Act bill.
The Hyde Amendment strictly prohibits federal funding to be used to pay for abortions. White House officials are accusing Pelosi of attempting to use a loophole in the Coronavirus funding set aside for the diagnostic testing and economic relief for those who come in contact with COVID-19, for the purpose of funding abortion.
Pelosi spoke in support of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act via a press release on her website.
The initial wording of the bill authored by Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer included a $1 billion allotment to fund abortion.
Senator Ben Sasse was the first to call out Pelosi criticizing her in a statement with the National Review.
“While schools are closing and hospitals are gearing up, Speaker Pelosi is waging unnecessary culture wars. Speaker Pelosi should be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, not politicizing emergency funding by fighting against the bi-partisan Hyde Amendment. We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood, Good grief,” Sasse stated.
“A New mandatory funding stream that does not have Hyde protections would be unprecedented,” one White House official explained. “Under the guise of protecting people, Speaker Pelosi is working to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent covering abortion—which is not only backward but goes against historical norms.”
A second White House official referred to the provision as a “slush fund” and yet another questioned, “What the Hyde Amendment and abortion have to do with protecting Americans from coronavirus?”
The true Families First Coronavirus Relief Act offers free diagnostic testing for those who believe they may be infected including those who are underinsured or have no health insurance. The bill calls for paid leave for those who must be absent from work, and free lunches for public school children where schools are shut down and rely on free lunch program.
The new version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was co-authored by Pelosi and Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, and does not include verbiage on abortion funding. According to reports, if President Trump approves the bill, GOP leaders are expected to put it on a fast-track to being passed.