Financial Services And General Government Appropriations Act, 2010

Floor Speech

Date: July 17, 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Abortion


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Chair, after careful consideration of H.R. 3170, it is with great regret that I announce my opposition to this bill as a result of its careless disregard for human life.

Historically, there has been a restriction on government-funded abortion in Washington, DC. Language known as the Dornan Amendment, which prohibited both federally and locally appropriated funds from being used to pay for abortions, has always been adopted in prior-year versions of H.R. 3170. However, in a break from this longstanding tradition, the majority chose instead to include language that does not prohibit local taxpayer funding for abortion services. In effect, Congress is breaking with history and allowing taxpayer funded abortions where they were previously prohibited.

I was extremely disappointed that H.R. 3170 included this language, especially since it also contains provisions that I strongly support. For example, I applaud bipartisan efforts to include language protecting the state franchise rights of GM and Chrysler auto dealers. Over 3,000 of these small business owners will ultimately be left behind as a result of the restructuring plans supported by the Obama Administration and recently approved in hasty federal bankruptcy court proceedings. Given that the rights of these auto dealers were not fairly represented in GM and Chrysler's bankruptcy proceedings, I support providing some kind of legislative remedy to these stakeholders.

Unfortunately, the Majority blocked consideration of an amendment that would have eliminated the language allowing taxpayer funding of abortion services in H.R. 3170 and allowing Members to vote for the bill on its merits. This cynical political move forced those of us opposed to taxpayer-funded abortions to vote against this bill, also implying opposition to helping our auto dealers. Let me be clear that my vote against this bill in no way implies my opposition to protecting the rights of the auto dealers left behind in GM and Chrysler's bankruptcy proceedings.

In short, I really hoped to take this opportunity to support our nation's auto dealers. Because H.R. 3170 effectively legalized taxpayer-funded abortion services, I could not support it.