Committee Republicans Object to Labor-Health and Human Services-Education and Commerce-Justice-Science Bills

Jul 15, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the full committee met to consider the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills for the subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Commerce, Justice, and Science. Committee Republicans were unable to support the bills due to the total spending level and controversial policy provisions that are in the bills.

Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), the lead Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said of the measures, “For the first time in nearly 50 years, Democrats have abandoned a longstanding, bipartisan provision that protects life and keeps taxpayers from paying for and participating in abortions. By failing to include the Hyde Amendment in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, Democrats have gone against the will of the majority of Americans who don’t want their hard-earned taxpayer dollars to be used for abortions. This isn’t the only provision that has been included for years that the Democrats are now trying to reverse. They have also failed to include a provision regarding the use of Justice Department funds to pay for abortions and dropped language carried for many years to protect Second Amendment rights. Unless Democrats reverse course on these and other controversial positions, the best outcome we may have this year is a continuing resolution.”

In an effort to push back on the Democrats’ partisan proposals, Republicans offered several amendments during both markups. Unfortunately, none of these amendments were adopted.

Republican Amendments to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill:

  • Restore the longstanding, bipartisan provision that prevents federal dollars from funding abortions – commonly known as the Hyde Amendment – and ensure that medical professionals continue to have important conscience protections so they are not forced to participate in abortions; 
  • Supports small businesses by striking provisions that would significantly harm seasonal businesses by preventing them from meeting their workforce needs through the H-2B program; and
  • Protect faith-based federal contractors by preventing funds from rescinding the Trump-era rule on nondiscrimination. 

Republican Amendments to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill:

  • Promote pro-life policies by ensuring that Department of Justice funds are not used for abortions;
  • Support law enforcement by repealing overreaching conditions on the law enforcement grant programs;
  • Block the Federal Government from using taxpayer funds to purchase firearms from law-abiding citizens;
  • Counter research theft from enemies like China and Russia by increasing funding for the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General;
  • Combat illegal growing of marijuana by directing the Department of Justice to increase its support to local police forces;
  • Support the enforcement of animal cruelty laws;
  • Reinstate longstanding provisions that prevent the transfer of dangerous terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil and the construction or modification of facilities in the United States to house such individuals;
  • Prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to provide free lawyers for those who entered illegally but are seeking legal status in the United States; and
  • Protect jobs and due process rights by prohibiting funds from being used to end contracts with detention facilities and redirect funds to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to address the flood of Chinese fentanyl coming across the southern border.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) said of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill, “While I have many concerns with the bill reported out of the House Appropriations Committee, none is more alarming than the removal of longstanding provisions to protect the lives of unborn babies and preserve the conscience rights of American taxpayers.

“For more than four decades, the Hyde Amendment has rightly prohibited federal tax dollars from funding abortions, which reflects the beliefs held by the majority of Americans. The lifesaving provision has been supported by lawmakers across party lines and in both chambers and importantly enabled members to enter good faith negotiation on annual government funding. However, without key pro-life protections restored, Republicans cannot come to the table or vote on final appropriations. Since Senate Democrats do not have the votes needed on their own, the outcome would be a continuing resolution or, even worse, a government shutdown. I urge the Democrats to change course.”

Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Aderholt (R-AL) said of the Commerce, Justice, and Science bill, “I take great responsibility as the Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee.  These three areas of our appropriations process are some of the most important to our nation’s economy, our security, and our continuous desire to reach beyond the bounds of earth.  It’s important to continue to make sure America leads in all these areas, while doing it responsibility.   I am, however, deeply disappointed that the Majority decided to strip the longstanding, bipartisan DOJ pro-life rider that prevented the Bureau of Prisons from using tax dollars to pay for abortions for inmates.  Both sides of the aisles have always found common agreement in this area, and I find it troubling that this year the Majority bowed to pressure from their far left.”

Ranking Member Granger’s remarks in each full committee markup today are linked below:
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education FY22 Full Committee Markup
Commerce, Justice, and Science FY22 Full Committee Markup

117th Congress