1996 Scorecard Vote
Stabilizing human population growth around the globe is crucial to environmentally sustainable development, and the U.S. has helped fund voluntary family planning programs to achieve this goal. While opponents of such programs raise concerns over funding for abortion, U.S. law prohibits the use of foreign assistance funds for this purpose.
Congress approved deep cuts in the fiscal year 1996 budget for international family planning assistance and imposed restrictions on spending the scarce remaining funds, as part of a stop-gap funding bill to keep the government operating (H.R. 2880, 1/26/96). The $76 million that was appropriated constitutes an effective reduction of 87 percent from the 1995 budget for international family planning programs. On a subsequent spending bill (H.R. 3019), Appropriations Committee Chairman Mark Hatfield (R-OR) added a provision to lift those restrictions and restore funding in cases where the President certified that the restrictions would reduce access to family planning and increase the incidence of abortion.
Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) offered an amendment to strike the Hatfield language. On March 14, 1996, the Senate rejected the amendment, 43 - 52. NO is the pro-environment vote.
On April 26, 1996, President Clinton signed H.R. 3019 into law.