The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R.7, S. 184) would place into permanent law a consistent policy that the federal government should not use tax dollars to support or promote elective abortion. Since 1976 this policy has enjoyed bi-partisan support and has been embodied in the Hyde Amendment and other policies governing funding. However, there are inconsistencies in its application and most of these policies including the Hyde Amendment must be renewed every year. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act will correct these inadequacies. What is more, there is a long-standing consensus in our nation – even among those who identify themselves as “pro-choice”– that taxpayers should not be coerced into paying for abortions. (See Marist poll results released July 2016.)
On January 13, 2017, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7). The measure had 100 other cosponsors and was referred to three House Committees: Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and the Judiciary.
On January 23, 2017, Cardinal Dolan, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, released a statement urging lawmakers to support this legislation. He reminded legislators ” that the American people oppose taxpayer-funding of abortion and want that opposition reflected in our law once and for all.” For the full statement see: www.humanlifeaction.org/sites/default/files/Dolan_Ltr_012317.pdf.
On January 24, 2017, H.R. 7 was brought to the Floor.
A motion to recommit the bill back to committee was defeated by a vote of 187-yes, 235-no, 10-not voting. (Roll Call 64). “No” was a pro-life vote.
The House then passed H.R. 7, 238 -yes, 183-no, 11-not voting (Roll Call 65). “Yes” was a pro-life vote.
In a January 25, 2017 statement welcoming the passage of H.R. 7, Deidre McQuade, primary spokeswoman on abortion for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said:
"By passing this legislation, the House has taken a decisive step toward respect for unborn human life, reflecting the will of the American people."
"The USCCB hopes that the U.S. Senate will take up this vital legislation soon."
For the full statement see: www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-022.cfm
On January 30, 2017, the House sent H.R. 7 to the Senate, where, after being read twice, was referred to the Committee on Finance.
On January 20, 2017, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the identical bill in the Senate, S. 184. The measure was referred to the Finance Committee and has 39 cosponsors.