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Entries in Foreign Affairs Committee (1)

Thursday
Jul212011

House Committee Votes to Reinstate Global Gag Rule, Slash Foreign Aid Budget

US House Committee on Foreign Affairs(WASHINGTON) -- The House Foreign Affairs Committee is haggling over the 2012 State Department and foreign ops authorization bill this week. Earlier Thursday it voted to reinstate and broaden the global gag rule, which bans federal funding for international non-government organizations (NGO) that discuss abortion overseas.
 
The committee voted down an amendment by Democratic Ranking Member Howard Berman that would remove language in the bill that would ban funding for groups that counsel women on family planning options, including abortion.
 
The gag rule, also known as the Mexico City policy, has had a controversial seesaw history. After it was announced by President Reagan, it was overturned by President Clinton, only to be reinstated by President Bush. President Obama again canceled it in 2009.
 
Like much of the markup, this vote was largely down party lines, shooting down Berman’s proposal 25-17. According to groups that follow the issue, this language would actually strengthen the policy by barring not only family planning assistance to local health care providers but also all funding for those groups, including for HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, child survival and education.
 
Wednesday, the committee voted to slash funding to a number of programs, including placing more restrictions on aid to Pakistan, cutting contributions to the United Nations by 25 percent and to other international organizations by even more. Overall, Republicans looked to cut about $6.4 billion from the overall $51 billion request.
 
Republicans also voted to axe all $48 million in funding for the Organization of American States.

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