“Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions.”
“The Biden Administration increasingly has the VA involved in politics.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) took to the Senate floor yesterday to speak ahead of a bipartisan vote to overturn a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule that forces taxpayers to fund abortions at VA medical facilities. In February, Senator Tuberville and U.S. Representative Michael Cloud (R-TX-27) introduced a bicameral joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse the rule.
The resolution failed to advance for a final vote, 48-51. Two Republicans voted with the majority of Democrats to block the Senate from voting on final passage of the legislation.
Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s speech can be found below, and his full remarks can be viewed here.
“Our veterans are some of the best people in this country. And I’m grateful to serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee. Giving back to our veterans has been a passion my whole life. Our men and women in uniform deserve the best medical care available. I’m grateful for every health care provider who cares for our veterans.”
“The mission of the VA is taken from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. Lincoln pledged our country to ‘care for him who shall have borne the battle.’ That’s what the VA is supposed to be about. But today — under the Biden administration — we see the VA increasingly getting distracted from that mission. The Biden Administration increasingly has the VA involved in politics.”
“Last year, the VA announced they would begin providing taxpayer-funded abortions. Last year. This is something the VA has never, ever done before. Let me repeat that. The VA has never done abortions. In fact, the VA has been prohibited — by the body — from performing abortions at its facilities for more than 30 years. The 102nd Congress — 1991 and 1992 — made taxpayer-funded abortions at VA facilities illegal…They did this with the bipartisan Veterans Health Care Act of 1992. Last I heard, that is a federal law, passed by this body.”
“And the VA won’t even tell Congress if they are placing any restrictions on abortions. When are they doing it? The VA has refused to cooperate with Congress throughout this whole process. That’s what it’s all about. For all we know, taxpayers could be funding late-term abortion right now. The new policy also includes very limited moral protections for VA medical staff.”
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions. Especially not when this was done without anybody taking a vote in this building. Especially not when Congress voted to make it illegal 30 years ago. It’s illegal and it’s wrong. In just a few moments, the Senate has the chance to do something about it. We are going to vote on a bipartisan basis to overturn this rule.”
“Anyone who believes in the appropriations process must oppose this rule and support this resolution. Voting ‘no’ would mean letting the administration spend money without the consent of the people in this room. And that’s what we’re elected to do. Voting ‘no’ means a big stamp of approval for a blatantly-illegal regulation…The VA should be focused on their mission. Lord knows we’ve got veterans who need help right now.”
On September 9, 2022, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its intention to begin providing abortion services for veterans and their dependents through the taxpayer-funded VA health care system. This is a blatant violation of Section 106 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, which explicitly prohibits the VA from providing abortion services.
On October 11, 2022, Senator Tuberville joined 38 of his congressional colleagues in a letter to Secretary McDonough opposing the VA’s rule. On February 8, 2023, Senator Tuberville led a group of more than 65 colleagues in introducing this bicameral joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse the VA’s abortion rule.
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.
The resolution introduced by Senator Tuberville and Representative Cloud had 35 cosponsors in the Senate and has 51 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution was endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Pro Life-America, March for Life, National Right to Life, Catholic Vote, Heritage Action for America, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Family Research Council, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.