(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would not say on Thursday whether he intends to permit or not permit funding for Obamacare in whatever legislation the House enacts to keep the government funded past Sept. 30.
The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 and begins on Oct. 1. The continuing resolution under which the federal government is currently being funded expires on Sept. 30. Any money spent after that date by the administration must first be approved in a law passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president.
If the Republican majority House includes language in the bills to fund the government past Sept. 30 that prohibits the administration from using any money to implement Obamacare, the administration will not be able to implement Obamacare.
The Health and Human Services sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate, a regulation issued under Obamacare, will take effect Aug. 1. It will force Catholic individuals, employers and institutions, and others who share the moral views of Catholics on sterilization, contraceptives and abortion, to act against their consciences by purchasing and/or providing insurance that pays for these things.
If the House refuses to give the administration funding to implement Obamacare, the administration will not be able to implement this regulation. If the House approves legislation permitting implementation of Obamacare and this regulation, the administration will be able ti implement the regulation--and force Catholics and Catholic institutions to act against their conscience.
This week a group of House conservatives put together a letter that calls for Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) “not to bring to the House floor in the 112th Congress any legislation that provides or allows funds to implement Obamacare through the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, or any federal entity.”
At a press conference on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Speaker Boehner, “Do you intend, as many House conservatives are asking you, to deny funding to Obamacare, which would include defunding the HHS sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate?
Boehner said, “You know, I’ve not seen this letter yet, but I’ve read that I’m about to get one. So when I get it, when I get it, then I’ll be able to comment on it.”
As of late yesterday, at least 80 Republicans had signed the letter, including Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Allen West (Fla.), Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (Tex.). Reportedly, there are 100 signatures now on the letter.
In an e-mail announcing the letter, Wesley A. Goodman, director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach at the House Republican Study Committee, said, “We have the ‘power of the purse.’ A Republican House should not bring any bill to the floor that funds the implementation of Obamacare, and we should take every action to rescind money out the door.”
The letter is still in circulation and could potentially garner more signatures. The House Republican Study Committee said it anticipates sending the letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor at the end of this week.