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Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a registered nurse and member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, praised the bipartisan House passage of her resolution, H.J. Res. 43, which uses the authority of the Congressional Review Act to overturn a December 2016 Obama Administration rule forcing states such as Tennessee to provide Title X family planning grants to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The resolution passed by a vote of 230 to 188.
Prior to the vote, Congressman Black led debate in support of the resolution. To watch her opening statement on the House floor, click here. A full transcript is provided below:
Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of my resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 43, which uses the authority of the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Obama Administration’s eleventh-hour rule forcing states like Tennessee to fund abortion providers.
I want to begin today by stipulating very clearly what this resolution is about.
Because, while I am unapologetically pro-life, you don’t have to be in order to support this resolution. You just have to believe in the 10th Amendment
Despite the histrionics you may hear on the other side of the aisle today, with this resolution we are not voting to defund Planned Parenthood, voting to cut Title X funding, or voting to restrict abortion rights.
Madam Speaker, we are simply voting today to affirm the right of states to fund the healthcare providers that best suit their needs, without fear of reprisal from their own federal government.
I didn’t realize that was a partisan issue.
And it shouldn’t be, because that’s how the Title X grant program functioned for more than 45 years until the Obama Administration decided to leave this parting gift to the abortion industry on its way out the door.
For me, this issue is personal.
As a registered nurse, I know that vulnerable women seeking true comprehensive care deserve better than abortion-centric facilities like Planned Parenthood.
So, as a state legislator, I worked within my authority to make sure that Tennessee honored the will of our pro-life populace and steered our state’s share of Title X dollars away from health care providers that perform abortion.
As a result, our share of Title X grants have been sent exclusively to the Tennessee Department of Health, which then allocates them to county health departments and other qualified providers that protect the lives of our most vulnerable.
That was Tennessee’s right, and we have been able to exercise that right while protecting access to comprehensive care for those who are most in need.
According to HHS’s own 2015 Title X Family Planning Annual Report, our state provided care under Title X to more than 75,000 Tennesseans.
That means we served even more citizens than more populated states like Michigan and Virginia.
But in December of last year, the Obama Administration decided to intervene, setting unprecedented new parameters on how states must select Title X grantees that were specifically designed to prop up its political allies in the abortion industry.
With my resolution, I’m proposing that we go back just a few short weeks to December 15, 2016 – the day before the Obama Administration decided to reconfigure a 45-year old program with this ill-conceived order.
That is all my resolution would do.
I urge my colleagues to give states the freedom and the flexibility to take care of their citizens the best way they know how by voting yes on H.J. Res. 43.
With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. A nurse for more than 40 years, she serves as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee.