The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act already included a number of provisions to restrict federal agencies, particularly the FCC and the IRS. Yet, before the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance the bill to the full House of Representatives, several more were added.
The full committee voted to approve existing riders related to the FCC, including one prohibiting the implementation of the agency’s controversial net neutrality order. In addition, in a move against another recent FCC order, the committee accepted an amendment authored by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) preserving local television stations’ joint sales agreements that were established before March 31, 2014.
In a pro-life move, another amendment by Rep. Harris was adopted that would prohibit Obamacare “multi-state qualified health plans” from funding abortions. In addition, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) successfully convinced the committee to adopt a measure that would prevent the District of Columbia from enforcing a controversial new city law that otherwise could force religious or pro-life organizations headquartered in Washington to provide coverage for abortion under their employer health plans.
Regarding the IRS, the Appropriations Committee voted to accept an amendment by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) prohibiting the agency from auditing faith-based 501(c)3 organizations, unless approved the IRS Commissioner. The underlying bill already included a number of prohibitions on the IRS, including a “prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.”
The next step for this bill is the House Floor, after which it will be part of the stage set for government funding negotiations with the Senate and the White House.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: June 19, 2015