WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and 24 other Republican Senators introduced a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify an illegal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule that provides abortion services through the taxpayer-funded VA health care system. The CRA gives Congress the authority to review major rules issued by federal agencies before they take effect. If Congress disapproves of a rule via resolution, the rule will have no force or effect under the law.
“Taxpayer dollars cannot fund abortions, and any attempt by the VA to provide abortions must be stopped. Not only is it against the law for any VA to perform an abortion, but the new rule the Biden administration proposed would circumvent state laws,” said Risch. “This joint resolution of disapproval highlights House and Senate Republicans’ commitment to protect life and prevent the Biden administration from implementing this deadly rule. I will do everything in my power to protect the unborn, including fighting this administration each step of the way in their abortion agenda.”
“The Supreme Court has ruled it is the states’ ability to protect the right to life. This rule is another example of the Biden Administration’s federal overreach to advance its abortion agenda," said Crapo. "My commitment to protecting the rights of the unborn remains unchanged, and this thinly-veiled workaround the law wrongly forces taxpayers to fund abortion in a time when our national debt continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.”
“Using our VA medical facilities to provide publicly-funded abortions is an unconstitutional abuse of the system, and it will not be tolerated,” said Tuberville. “No taxpayer should be forced to pay for abortion services that disregard the will of millions of Americans in states with legal protections for life, rightfully upheld by the Supreme Court last year. The interim final rule highlights this administration’s willingness to ignore the law and exploit limited federal resources to serve their extreme abortion agenda.”
The VA published the interim final rule in September 2022, just a few months after the Supreme Court issued its decision to reverse Roe v. Wade and return the decision to legislate on abortion to the American people through their state legislatures. Not only does the rule set up VA medical facilities to blatantly violate state laws, it’s also in clear conflict with Section 106 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, which explicitly prohibits the VA from providing abortion services. Notably, the rule also extends abortion services to certain veterans’ dependents and fails to provide any protections for VA medical staff.
The resolution is endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Pro Life-America, March for Life, National Right to Life, Catholic Vote, Heritage Action, and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
Joining Risch, Crapo, and Tuberville were Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).
Congressman Michael Cloud with Congressmen Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) and several other House Republicans introduced the House companion.
# # #