WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) expressed his deep disappointment that Americans will be, for the first time in 44 years, now forced to pay for abortions with federal taxpayer dollars in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill that is being considered in the House today.
He offered these comments this morning in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Shalanda Young to be Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Young directly expressed her support for taxpayer funding of abortion, and Lankford said today that because of her push to force taxpayers to fund abortions, he cannot support her nomination.
Lankford and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced several amendments to the Reconciliation Bill to fix provisions to ensure it complies with the long-standing Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal dollars to pay for abortion. Lankford filed his amendment to apply Hyde-related language to Community Health Centers and health funding and tax extenders. Lankford opposed the Reconciliation Bill on Saturday for numerous reasons, one major issue being its lack of language to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.
I actually asked the question for the record about Hyde and was surprised at the answer that came back, how strong it really was. This is not esoteric anymore—whether Americans should be forced to pay for something they believe strongly is the taking of life, not the preserving of life, has always been an issue that we’ve said, ‘There may be disagreement.’
Some people believe that a child is a child no matter how small they are. And some people believe a child is only a child after they’re born. I disagree with that position, but we have as a nation for the last four decades said we’re not going fund it—until this week. This week, what the House is voting on today, what the Senate passed on Saturday morning, will be the first time in 44 years we as a country have used federal tax dollars to pay for abortion—for the first time in four decades. This is no longer a theoretical conversation. It just happened in the Senate, and it’s happening today in the House. And what Mrs. Young was advocating was that it continues to happen time after time after time after four decades of saying we’re not going to compel Americans to pay for the taking of the life of children.
So I hope this is an ongoing conversation. Previous OMB’s have worked aggressively to be able to identify areas where there were gaps in the law on this. OMB is not just a neutral arbitrator; they’re an advisor in the process. And so it matters what happens in this. And so with that, I cannot support this nomination.