The House is preparing to vote on the Homeland Security Appropriations shortly.
In Committee, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) included an amendment that would close the loophole in the law and protect unborn babies. In 2002, funding for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) moved from Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations to the Homeland Security appropriations bill. Longstanding policy in the CJS appropriations bill had prevented federal detainees from using taxpayer monies to obtain abortions. However, when the ICE funding was moved, the policy was not included in the Homeland Securities bill so it opened a loophole for immigration detainees to get federal funding for abortions. Rep. Aderholt’s amendment simply ensures the longstanding policy prohibiting federal funding for abortion has the effect of law for immigration detainees.
We have heard from our friends on the Hill that Democrats may try to introduce an amendment that will undermine or gut Rep. Aderholt’s amendment. We have worked hard to ensure that the Homeland Security Appropriations bill passes without any hostile amendments.
On May 23, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a lopsided hearing on the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). All of the witnesses at this hearing were proponents of the treaty. However, there will be additional hearings, and we have been told that opponents will get a voice at the next one. Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) has indicated that he plans to move LOST after the elections to “avoid” political posturing.
LOST is another misguided United Nations treaty that was negotiated in the 1980s. It was rejected by President Reagan. By ratifying LOST, the U.S. would give up its sovereignty in exchange for begging unelected international officials for permission to use its own resources. The treaty establishes a governing authority call the International Seabed Authority (the “Authority”) which has the power to tax countries for using their own property. Also, LOST would subject our military and U.S. businesses to mandatory international dispute resolution by others who may be motivated by anti-American agendas. The decisions made by the “Authority” would be final and devoid of any appeals process.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R- South Carolina) is circulating a letter among his Senate colleagues to oppose the treaty. The letter has 27 signers, and we need 7 more senators to ensure we keep this treaty submerged in the Senate.