For all the talk about partisanship in Washington, 90 percent of legislative initiatives are actually bipartisan, especially the bills that affect the funding of critical policies. The latest example is the Senate Appropriations Committee, controlled by Republicans, which just passed the annual State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill increasing funding for abortions internationally.
To begin with, this $52.8 billion spending bill is full of billions of dollars in foreign aid, food aid, security aid, and all sorts of AID for wasteful programs of dubious importance, all too often, for enemy nations and entities. This is the bill that funds the primary government department that deals with diplomacy in addition to extra funding for “overseas contingency operations.” I could think of dozens of germane amendments Republican members, with their simple majority on the committee, could have added to the underlying bill that would have actually addressed serious threats. For example, amendments blocking funding for the Palestinians, the Iran deal, and Syrian rebels.
They could have defunded Obama’s refugee surge center established by the State Department and could have placed a number of restrictions on State Department activity with refugee resettlement, as that is the department that first deals with refugee policy in terms of initially admitting them to the country. Republicans could have also placed restrictions on Obama promoting his homosexual and transgender agenda, ironically, on moderate Muslim regimes that fight the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic terrorists who throw gay people off buildings.
Yet, not a single amendment combating a single Obama foreign policy was added to the bill from this panel of very weak Republicans. What did they add instead? Here is a summary from Congressional Quarterly (subscription required):
An adopted amendment from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., increases by $124 million funding for direct support to foreign countries for family planning activities, raising the overall amount to $585 million.
The Shaheen measure, which was adopted by a 17-13 vote, also provides $37.5 million in funding to the U.N. Population Fund where none had been provided in the underlying bill. The amendment lastly strips from the legislation Republican language reinstating the so-called Mexico City policy, which forbids any U.S. dollars going to a foreign NGO that provides information about or performs abortions.
Senate appropriators also adopted by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-O.R., to provide $500 million to the U.N.-sponsored Green Climate Fund where the base bill would have denied any funding. [emphasis added]
So there were enough votes on the GOP-majority-controlled committee to add more funding for abortions and funding for the UN’s global warming scam. Got that? Not only are Republicans incapable and unwilling to block taxpayer funding for abortions in American, they can’t even stop funding for abortions on an international scope, even in their own spending bills. Remember, without the Mexico City policy in place, the $585 million in international family planning funds will be used for abortions, not that we should be funding those programs anyway.
There is one more important amendment that passed during committee markup. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) proposed an amendment authorizing states and localities to divest from entities that participate in the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Unfortunately, Senator Kirk felt a need to attach language making it clear that our government still delegitimizes Israel’s retention of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. He added that “nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the established policy of the United States concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, including border delineation.” Why was this added?
Some might say Kirk wanted to keep this a bipartisan endeavor and wanted to appease Democrats by tossing in the pro-Palestinian nonsense. But even with this language, 9 of the 14 Democrats voted against the anti-BDS provision. Given that Republicans have a majority on the committee, why not just draw a bold contrast with Democrats and stand for moral clarity? Just today, a young Palestinian teenager crept into a Jewish town in Judea a stabbed to death a 13-year-old girl in her bed while she was sleeping.
The notion that there is any moral equivalence between Jews building homes in their homeland that they won back in a defensive war (after it was illegally occupied by Jordan) and brutal terrorists illegally occupying land that was never given to them, is reprehensible. The only binding resolution of international law that has never been countermanded to this day is the July 1922 Mandate for Palestine, which calls for the creation of a Jewish national homeland anywhere west of the Jordan River. Once the League of Nations was disbanded and the United Nations took its place, they agreed to maintain all agreements and not “alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties. [Article 80, UN Charter] The Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations was the last legally binding document. In Article 5 of the Mandate it explicitly states “The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.”
The Arab squatters living in that region have no right to a state in that land, much less a right to murder those who build homes in the rightful territory of their state duly adopted by international law. Why couldn’t Republicans stand on bold colors and defund the Palestinian government altogether, which is responsible for inciting the very sort of jihad that took place this morning? How could Republicans fund an Islamic supremacist government for even one more day? We as may as well send $500 million a year to Raqqa to bolster the Islamic State, albeit attach a provision saying no funds can be used for terrorism!
Whether it’s abortion, global warming, Islamic refugee resettlement, or Islamic terror there is no moral clarity within the ranks of either party. Who needs Democrats when Republicans will validate and consummate all of their policies anyway?
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Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.