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April 8, 2011

Opposing Your Own Record

Senate Democrats have decided to let the looming government shutdown come down to a vote on a provision Democratic Leaders have a long history of supporting.

The Dornan Amendment (also known as the Hyde Amendment for DC), which bans direct funding of abortions in Washington, DC, now seems to be the only rider included in the House-passed Continuing Resolution that Democratic Leaders will not support.

To be clear: We're not talking about prohibiting funds for contraception from being used to subsidize abortion providers (i.e. the Pence amendment on Planned Parenthood). We're talking about direct taxpayer-funding of abortion and a provision that has been in place FY 1996-FY 2009.



Background

President Bill Clinton signed the DC Abortion Funding Ban (Dornan amendment) into law six times: FY01 P.L. 106-522, FY00 P.L. 106-113, FY99 P.L. 105-277, FY98 P.L. 105-100, FY97 P.L. 104-194, FY96 P.L. 104-134

President Barack Obama signed the DC Abortion Funding Ban into law for FY09 when he signed an omnibus appropriations act that was sent to him by a Democratically Controlled House and Senate: FY09 P.L. 111-8

When he was a Senator, President Obama voted for legislation including the DC Abortion Funding Ban twice, once as a part of a continuing resolution (FY07) and once as part of the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (FY06): FY07 Roll Call 48, FY06 Roll Call 264

Vice President Joe Biden voted for legislation including the DC Abortion Funding Ban seven times since 1995 when the policy was included in various bills to appropriate funding for the District of Columbia: FY06 Roll Call 264, FY02 Roll Call 331 and Roll Call 356, FY00 Roll Call 374, FY99 Roll Call 317, FY97 Roll Call 270, FY96 Roll Call 89

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi voted for legislation including the DC Abortion Funding Ban 14 times since 1995 when the policy was included in various bills to appropriate funding for the District of Columbia: FY07 Roll Call 286 and Roll Call 72, FY06 Roll Call 358 and Roll Call 605, FY05 Roll Call 399 andRoll Call 498, FY03 Roll Call 32, FY02 Roll Call 355 and Roll Call 482, FY00 Roll Call 347 andRoll Call 610, FY99 Roll Call 538, FY97 Roll Call 334, FY96 Roll Call 135

In just four years as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi shepherded three bills continuing the DC Abortion Funding Ban for three separate fiscal years through the House: FY09 P.L. 111-8, FY08 P.L. 110-161, FY07 (Continuing Resolution) P.L. 110-5

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted for legislation including the DC Abortion Funding Ban 10 times since 1995 when the policy was included in various bills to appropriate funding for the District of Columbia: FY08 Roll Call 441, FY07 Roll Call 48, FY06 Roll Call 264, FY04 Roll Call 3, FY02 Roll Call 331 and Roll Call 356, FY00 Roll Call 374, FY97 Roll Call 270, FY96 Roll Call 42 and Roll Call 89

Reid shepherded three bills continuing the DC Abortion funding ban for three separate fiscal years through the Senate in his just over four years as Majority Leader: FY09 P.L. 111-8, FY08 P.L. 110-161, FY07 (Continuing Resolution) P.L. 110-5

Reid also voted for the DC Abortion Funding Ban in 1996 - the last time the issue was considered as an individual amendment: Boxer Amendment Roll Call 38

Majority Whip Dick Durbin has voted for legislation including the DC Abortion Funding Ban nine times since 1995 when the policy was included in various bills to appropriate funding for the District of Columbia: FY08 Roll Call 441, FY07 Roll Call 48, FY06 Roll Call 264, FY04 Roll Call 3, FY02 Roll Call 331, FY00 Roll Call 374, FY99 Roll Call 314, FY97 House Roll Call 334, FY96 House Roll Call 135

Durbin offered his own legislation that included the DC Abortion Funding Ban twice: S. 3660 and H.R. 2829

The DC Abortion Funding Ban was included in S. 3260 for FY09 and Durbin substitute for FY08.

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer voted for legislation including the DC Abortion Funding Ban 18 times since 1995 when the policy was included in various bills to appropriate funding for the District of Columbia: FY09 Roll Call 86, FY08 Roll Call 606 and Roll Call 1171, FY07 Roll Call 286 and Roll Call 72, FY06 Roll Call 358 and Roll Call 605, FY05 Roll Call 399 and Roll Call 498, FY03 Roll Call 32, FY02 Roll Call 355 and Roll Call 482, FY00 Roll Call 347 and Roll Call 610, FY99 Roll Call 538, FY97 Roll Call 334 and Roll Call 395, FY96 Roll Call 135

As Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer shepherded three bills continuing the DC Abortion Funding Ban for three separate fiscal years through the House: FY09 P.L. 111-8, FY08 P.L. 110-161, FY07 (Continuing Resolution) P.L. 110-5

Legislation containing the DC Abortion Funding Ban has received more than 150 Democratic Votes in the House on 16 occasions since 1995 when the policy was included in various bills to appropriate funding for the District of Columbia: FY09 Roll Call 86, FY08 Roll Call 606 and Roll Call 1171, FY07 Roll Call 286 and Roll Call 72, FY06 Roll Call 358 and Roll Call 605, FY05 Roll Call 399 and Roll Call 498, FY02 Roll Call 355and Roll Call 482, FY00 Roll Call 347, FY99 Roll Call 538, FY97 Roll Call 334 and Roll Call 395, FY96 Roll Call 135



The Senate could vote on stripping the Dornan Amendment from H.R. 1363 – the bill passed by the House Thursday that would fund our Defense Department and troops for the entire year and delay any government shutdown for at least another week.

Senators, thank you for your past support. Please oppose any effort to remove the Dornan language from the bill to stop the government shutdown and reach out to other members on the significance of this issue.

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