GOP: Terminate healthcare fund or risk federally funded abortions

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) argued that federal law prohibits federally funded abortions. But Foxx said the so-called Hyde Amendment preventing taxpayer-funded abortions only applies to discretionary programs and that the Prevention and Public Health Fund is a mandatory program that will soon be funded at a level of $2 billion per year, and thus is not subject to Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion.

"This slush fund is yet another Democratic trick to use taxpayer money to subsidize elective abortions," she said.

Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) argued there is no risk that Prevention and Public Health Fund monies could be used to fund abortion procedures, since language similar to the Hyde Amendment was included in the healthcare law.

The two parties were debating the rule for H.R. 1217, which would end the program at issue. A vote on the rule was expected by about 3 p.m. Tuesday, after which a debate and a vote on the bill itself was expected later in the afternoon.