Deal To Avert Govt Shutdown Prohibits DC From Funding Abortion Services

Early reports about last night’s showdown-averting $38.5 billion agreement indicate that while Republicans dropped their demand to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood — in return for a guarantee that the issue would receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor — a provision that would prohibit the District of Columbia from using federal or local funds to pay for abortions remained.

But this, like the effort to defund Planned Parenthood, would not actually save the federal government any money, since the rider would prohibit the District from spending its own locally-raised dollars on the procedure. As Tanya Somanader pointed out earlier this week, the provision would revive a 13-year ban President Obama overturned in 2009:

This language would restore the Dornan amendment to ensure that no congressionally appropriated funds (whether locally or federally generated) may pay for abortion in the District of Columbia. The good news for pro-life advocates is that the inclusion of the Dornan Amendment in the one-week continuing resolution ensures it remains in place to prohibit abortion funding in the nation’s capital for the rest of the year.

The policy was in place from 1996-2009. Then, Democrats initially approved an omnibus spending bill lifting the 13-year-long ban on directly paying for abortions in the nation’s capital and Obama eventually signed the measure.

Politico reports that the final deal contains other riders, including the guarantee of a Senate debate and vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, “numerous studies of health reform that Republicans say ‘will force the Obama administration to reveal the true impact of the law’s mandates,'” and annual audits of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The measure also denies additional funding to hire more IRS agents.