After a House Freedom Caucus victory over two leftist bills last week, House Democrats — with the aid of establishment Republicans — are set to reconsider the legislation this week amid staunch opposition from a majority of the House Republican Conference.
The two bills up for reconsideration are LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act and the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. The LGBTQ bill “would have allowed for LGBTQ-owned businesses to get favoritism in lending in much the same way minority-owned businesses may,” and the veterans contraception bill “would have facilitated government-funded access to abortion drugs through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA),” Breitbart News previously reported.
The LGBTQ bill failed after garnering 248 votes in favor with 177 opposed and five members not voting. The VA abortion bill failed by a wider margin, getting 240 votes in favor with 188 opposed and two members not voting.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to fast-track through the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress last Tuesday using a procedure called “suspension of the rules.” The procedure requires a two-thirds supermajority of the House to succeed.
To combat her agenda, House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and other House conservatives like Reps. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and Chip Roy (R-TX) among others, forced a roll call of the votes in an effort to get the bills turned down.
Now, the bills are up for debate again — except this time, Democrats are shooting for a simple majority of 51 percent to pass the legislation.
A small sector of the House Republican Conference has cleaved off in support of the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act under the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and ranking member Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL).
Bost sent a letter to the conference in support of the bill saying:
- Women are volunteering to serve in record numbers. Their service should be recognized and respected.
- Women veterans should not have to pay more for birth control out of uniform than in uniform.
- The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act would remove a barrier to care for women veterans, support veteran suicide prevention efforts, and align VA with DOD and the private sector by eliminating the requirement for VA to charge copays for contraception.
Rep. Rosendale, who is also a part of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released a statement to Breitbart News on Thursday about the Republican party’s division over the legislation:
It’s been frustrating to watch the efforts of the Party to speak with one voice on life issues be undermined by this bill, but I’m pleased with the level of support our position has gotten. I’m not going to be cutting deals on life issues, ever. This bill would put taxpayer funds towards buying abortifacients, and I’m going to continue to oppose it.
Within the party, there seems to be a differing opinion on whether drugs like Plan-B and Ella are considered contraception or abortifacients. Republicans, which have long been considered the pro-life party, most often believe life begins at conception. Drugs like Ella “can cause the demise of an embryo that is already implanted in its mother’s womb,” according to studies cited by the Family Research Council — which pro-life Republicans would call an abortion.
Both the Family Research Council and Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed concern at the potential passing of the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act.
A letter to representatives from Archbishop of Kansas City Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, who is Chairman for the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities read in part:
Drugs covered in this bill include forms of birth control recognized as abortifacient because they prevent a newly conceived human embryo from implanting, including Ella (ulipristal acetate), and Plan B (levonorgestrel). Many women taking these drugs are unaware of their abortifacient potential.
…Please do all you can to advance authentic healthcare for our heroic service members and their families. With that goal in mind, please vote no on H.R. 239.
Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Family Research Council Quena González also sent a letter to representatives opposing the bill.
The letter says in part:
We oppose the current policy, which partially underwrites these drugs using taxpayer funding through veterans’ benefits. We also oppose this change to place the entire financial border for drugs that can act as abortifacients on American taxpayers.
Democrats have been trying to quickly pass as much of their leftist agenda as possible before the midterm elections potentially reconfigure the power structure of the House in 2022. The passage of these two bills, especially after an initial conservative-led knockdown, would be a huge win for Democrats.