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House still weighing antiabortion riders

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May 9, 2024
Rep. Tom Cole

Cole. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

House appropriators haven't yet decided how prominently to feature antiabortion riders in FY25 spending bills that will be moving as the campaign season heats up.

Why it matters: Provisions like language to overturn the FDA's policy on distributing mifepristone were good for messaging but created havoc during the last cycle, splitting Republicans and leading to the defeat of the Ag-FDA spending bill on the floor.

What they're saying: Appropriations Chair Tom Cole told reporters Wednesday there's no plan yet on how to treat antiabortion riders but acknowledged the process needs to be bipartisan to pass.

  • "We haven't had a discussion on that," Cole said. "A lot of times you put things in with the knowledge that they're not going to stay.… I'm more interested in based funding for the budget."
  • "These are important issues and I'm very pro-life, so I take these things seriously," he added. "It's going to take both parties coming together in the end to pass these."

House Appropriations Labor-HHS subcommittee Chair Robert Aderholt told Axios that he assumes there will be a lot of riders proposed, including antiabortion ones, but said his bigger issue was not getting jammed with "Senate poison pill earmarks."

  • Aderholt previously voted against the second minibus funding package that included his own bill because of Senate earmarks that he said funded services for illegal immigrants and facilities providing abortions.

Cole separately said he had a "pretty good idea" of what the FY25 topline funding number will be but isn't ready to say.

  • Cole also said he was hoping to have some of the funding bills ready to mark up by the end of this month or early June.
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