WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement today in support of efforts by Reps. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and others to make sure taxpayer money being used to fight HIV/AIDS abroad isn't diverted to fund abortions overseas:
"The president's initiative on fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere around the world is a project for which this Congress has demonstrated an overwhelming and consistent level of support.
"That support does not, however, extend to the notion of using these scarce taxpayer resources to fund abortions overseas. It's deeply disappointing that Democrats are attempting to hold hostage a program that provides desperately needed relief to millions of AIDS sufferers worldwide just so they can advance their own partisan, activist agenda here at home.
"Thankfully, under the leadership of Mike Pence, Chris Smith, Joe Pitts, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and others, the efforts by some Democrats to change the funding priorities for this vital global initiative have not gone unnoticed. The bill's markup having been postponed earlier today, I look forward to working with these and other Republicans in the House over the next week to ensure this abortion language is left behind on the committee room floor."
NOTE: Today's scheduled markup of the president's Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) in the House Foreign Affairs Committee was postponed earlier this afternoon, and is now scheduled to convene next Thursday, February 14th. A press conference addressing the larger issue, which included House Republicans alongside Pastor Rick Warren, Bishop Harry Jackson, Chuck Colson, and others, was held today as well.
SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt