Earmark Outrage: Funding Debates Intensify Over LGBTQ+ and Abortion Clinic Projects

Controversy in Washington this week as Biden’s administration has raised an outcry by conservative groups over the use of Democratic earmarks – money reserved in spending bills for initiatives and projects that lawmakers want to push specifically. Here’s the full story

Outcry Over Earmarks

Biden’s new budget request has caused quite a commotion. This budget request includes earmarks, which have been directly requested by specific government members for projects they wish to fund.

Conservative groups are concerned with requests marked in the bill that would result in substantial funding going to  LGBTQ+ facilities and a late-term abortion clinic. Another request that has drawn the ire of conservatives is money for alleged “gun confiscation” research.

Conservative groups are furious and have stated, “Congress can’t pass this legislation in its current form until these egregious earmarks are weeded out.”

The bill was allegedly released at 2:30 am, which has caused further controversy, with one group stating that “Releasing bill text in the middle of the night is how our government gets locked into funding gaffs and binders for confused kids.”

Briarpatch Youth Services

Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, has requested $400,000 for “Briarpatch Youth Services,” a youth shelter for homeless and at-risk youths. Conservative groups are concerned about Briarpatch’s “Teens Like Us LGBTQIA2s” program, which aims to provide a safe space for non-heterosexual teens ages 13-18 to connect with their peers.

Their issue is that this program offers these teens the option to take free clothing that matches their assumed gender identities (if the teen asks for it), and it does not require parental permission to join.

Briarpatch states that they don’t require parental permission as “We understand not all youth are at a point in their lives where they can safely and confidently ‘come out.” One conservative group member stated, “American taxpayers are funding centers that encourage children to transition without their parents’ knowledge.”

Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, Democrats from New Jersey, have requested $400,000 for the Garden State Equality Education Fund, Inc., an LGBTQ+ advocacy and education group. This group also offers free gender-affirming clothing like chest binders and gaffs for genitalia, which conservative groups have labeled “transgender devices.”

Rhode Island’s Abortion Funding

Rhode Island’s Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have asked for $1.8 million to go to Rhode Island’s Women and Infants Hospital. This hospital offers abortions up to 22 weeks, which is classed as a late-term abortion, placing conservative groups in opposition to it.

There are also concerns over a $12.5 million request earmarked for a study by the National Institutes of Health. The study is called “the Prevent Firearm Injury and Mortality Research,” and conservative groups are worried that this is essentially money going to an anti-gun organization. 

They contend that this type of research is more about taking away their Second Amendment rights than preventing gun injuries.

According to the NIH, they are “committed to supporting scientific research to develop, evaluate, and implement effective public health interventions to better understand and prevent violence, including firearm violence, and the resulting trauma, injuries, and mortality.”

House Vote Pending

Whether these requests will pass remains to be seen, as the House has yet to vote for them. Republicans and some conservative groups are worried about the impact that these earmarks will have on the U.S. national debt, which stands at just under $34.5 trillion. 

They are also concerned about using national funds for projects that involve progressive views on gender identities.

Earmarks have been a controversial scheme since Democrats reintroduced them in 2021 after Republicans had banned them for 10 years. Republicans argued that they lead to wasteful spending and corruption, while Democrats argued that they boost local investment and allow politicians to help with projects without having to navigate governmental red tape.

The post Earmark Outrage: Funding Debates Intensify Over LGBTQ+ and Abortion Clinic Projects first appeared on Swift Feed.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa.

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