Miss. Senator Urges Senate Dems to Abandon Bills, Which Are an Affront to National Defense, Border Security, Sanctity of Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today criticized committee Democrats for moving unilaterally on FY2022 appropriations bills that are blatantly partisan, shortchange national defense, and eliminate long-held provisions prevent the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions.

Senate Democrats on Monday posted nine FY2022 bills, all of which were written without a framework setting top-line funding levels for subcommittees and none of which have been considered by the full committee.  In fact, the bills would spend nearly $10 billion over levels outlined in the Democrats’ own budget resolution.

“The Democrats’ approach to completing the FY2022 appropriations process is a blatantly partisan departure from past practices and from what this nation needs.  These bills are an affront to anyone serious about national defense, border security, the sanctity of life, and responsible government,” Hyde-Smith said.

“I sincerely hope my colleagues will come to their senses and negotiate these bills in a good-faith, bipartisan basis.  This is how this committee has operated traditionally and the only way  we will be able to produce measured bills that fund the programs that affect every single American,” she said.

To date, the Appropriations Committee has only considered three of the 12 annual bills needed to fund federal programs in FY2022, which began Oct. 1.  Those measures (Energy and Water Development, Agriculture, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs) were the products of bipartisan cooperation.

The following reviews some of the most problematic issues in the new FY2022 partisan bills posted by Senate Democrats:

MISPLACED SPENDING PRIORITIES:  The bills continue the Democrats’ trend of reckless domestic spending while shortchanging investments in our national defense.

  • Senate Democrats’ bills provide an increase in nondefense spending of nearly 14 percent over FY2021, while providing a 5 percent increase for national defense.
  • In total, the bills exceed the spending levels in their own partisan budget resolution by nearly $10 billion.

NEGLECTING BORDER SECURITY AND CHANGING IMMIGRATION POLICY:  In the midst of the worst border crisis in decades, Senate Democrats’ bills will:

  • Cut funding for core Department of Homeland Security border security activities (Homeland);
  • Return to the Treasury nearly $2 billion appropriated on a bipartisan basis to construct a border wall to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the southern border (Homeland);
  • Allow Border Patrol funding to be transferred to remove border wall on public lands (Interior);
  • Reduce Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention capacity and hobble its enforcement and removal capabilities for those who are in the country unlawfully (Homeland);
  • Implement policies allowing certain criminal aliens to be turned free in the United States (Homeland);
  • Rewrite immigration law to change visa distribution, including allowing for persons from countries where vetting processes are substandard (Homeland); and
  • Allow the federal government to employ noncitizens participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program (Financial Services and General Government or FSGG; Legislative Branch).

PROMOTING AND FINANCING ABORTION AT HOME AND ABROAD:  Senate Democrats’ bills change or remove longstanding policies protecting life, which have enjoyed broad, bipartisan support for decades.  The bills will:

  • Remove the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions and has been in effect for nearly 50 years (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education or LHHS);
  • Remove the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from going to states that discriminate against health care entities that do not provide, pay for, or refer for abortions (LHHS);
  • Remove the Smith Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits program (FSGG);
  • Remove the “D.C. Hyde” (or Dornan) Amendment, which prohibits District of Columbia from using federal or local funds to pay for abortions and has been in effect since FY2012 (FSGG);
  • Require Title X grantees to provide abortion drugs, counseling on abortion, and referral for an abortion upon request, while providing a 75 percent increase in funding for these programs (LHHS); 
  • Eliminate funding for the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program (LHHS); 
  • Codify the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow foreign assistance to flow to organizations that promote or perform abortions (State, Foreign Operations or SFOPS);
  • Narrow the scope of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment to allow foreign assistance to go to organizations that indirectly support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization (SFOPS);
  • Increase funding for Global Health Programs family planning by $130 million and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by $22.5 million (SFOPS);
  • Remove the penalty for UNFPA operation of its China program, which has been found to support and participate in the management of China’s coercive reproductive policies (SFOPS); and
  • Expand the availability of foreign assistance funds for contraceptives, including through the HIV/AIDS Working Capital Fund (SFOPS).

COMPROMISING THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM:  Following the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in former Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) detainees assuming leadership roles in the resurgent Taliban, Senate Democrats’ bills will further compromise America’s fight against terrorism.  The bills will:

  • Allow the transfer or release of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or other terrorists detained at GITMO (Commerce, Justice, Science or CJS, Homeland, and Defense); and
  • Allow the closure of GITMO and the construction of facilities in the United States to house individuals currently detained at GITMO (CJS, Defense).

PUSHING THE GREEN NEW DEAL:  Senate Democrats’ bills would use the appropriations process to advance radical environmental and climate policies.  The bills will:

  • Take $1 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund to transform the FEMA pre-disaster mitigation program into a climate change slush fund (Homeland);
  • Provide hundreds of millions of dollars for undefined “environmental justice” efforts and investments in the Civilian Climate Corps (Interior); 
  • Change the longstanding biomass provision to make it more difficult to create sustainable markets for forest management byproducts (Interior);
  • Allow regulation of methane emissions from livestock under the Clean Air Act and remove longstanding limitation on mandatory greenhouse gas reporting requirements for manure management systems (Interior); 
  • Allow unnecessary environmental regulation of ammunition and fishing tackle (Interior); 
  • Provide billions for the Clean Technology and Green Climate Funds, global climate slush funds that lack sufficient oversight, transparency, or governance (SFOPS); and
  • Spend hundreds of millions of dollars for the federal government to purchase electric vehicles (multiple bills).

PARTISAN LABOR REFORMS:  Senate Democrats’ bills will:

  • Remove the longstanding prohibition on National Labor Relations Board electronic voting, which will subject union elections to coercion and fraud (LHHS); and
  • Apply Davis-Bacon requirements to new grant programs (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development).

POLITICAL POISON PILLS:  Democrats’ bills seek to implement partisan “reforms” that will weaponize government agencies against Democrats’ political opponents.  The bills will:

  • Increase the IRS budget by 14 percent and removes a longstanding prohibition on the IRS issuing rules to regulate political groups, which was adopted in the wake of the Tea Party targeting scandal (FSGG);
  • Remove the well-established provision prohibiting the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing rules to regulate companies’ political activities (FSGG); and
  • Remove the prohibition on agencies requiring government contractors to disclose their political activities (FSGG).