District of Columbia funding bill (public funding of elective abortion)

House Roll Call No. 571
111th Congress, 1st Session

Passed: 219-208 (see complete tally)
The District of Columbia is a federal jurisdiction which, under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, is completely under the legislative authority of Congress.  Therefore, the entire budget for D.C. (including locally generated revenues) is appropriated by Congress as part of the annual "Financial Services appropriations bill."  For many years this bill has contained language (sometimes called the "Dornan Amendment") to prohibit the use of any appropriated funds to pay for abortions, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.  However, in 2009, at the urging of the Obama White House, the House Appropriations Committee inserted new language in the bill to allow the D.C. city government to use locally generated (but congressionally appropriated) funds for abortion on demand.   The House Democratic majority leadership did not allow the full House of Representatives to vote on an amendment to restore the traditional pro-life provision.  Thus, NRLC opposed passage of the bill (H.R. 3170), but it passed, 219 to 208.  (The Senate later approved the same language, thereby allowing the city government to resume funding abortion on demand.)  Voting in support of the bill -- and thus, to allow the use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion on demand in D.C. -- were 215 Democrats and four Republicans.  Voting against the bill (the pro-life vote) were 38 Democrats and 170 Republicans.  House roll call no. 571, July 16, 2009.

Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 571
Votes For : 219
Votes Against : 208
Voted "Present" : 1
Not Voting : 5

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