WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today released the below statement upon voting against H.R. 4502, a massive $600 billion spending package. This package comes after Democrats in Congress passed a $1.9 trillion in emergency mandatory funds earlier this year – billions of which remain unspent.

“Democrats in Congress have rammed through a bloated partisan spending package with unrealistic and irresponsible pet projects. The bill increases some agency budgets by 30-40% but does not include any funding for the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security,” said Rep. Scott. “The tax-and-spend spree is burdening our economy. Democrats are creating a situation where it will be even more difficult to combat rapidly growing inflation and crime and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The American people deserve better.”

For more than 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited tax dollars from being used for abortions. However, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee voted to exclude Hyde Amendment protections during Committee consideration of H.R. 4502, and attempts to add it to the spending package on the House Floor were rejected.

“Until this week, it has long been a bipartisan agreement that the tax dollars of hardworking Americans should not be used for abortions, and even President Biden has opposed taxpayer funded abortions in the past,” said Rep. Scott. “As this spending package heads to the Senate for consideration, I urge them to protect unborn children and the rights of millions of Americans by including the Hyde Amendment in the final legislation.”

H.R. 4502 contains seven appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2022, totaling nearly $600 billion in discretionary spending, a 21% increase from Fiscal Year 2021. It provides funding for the following federal agencies: The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Agriculture, Energy, Commerce, Interior, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development. It also provides for military construction projects but does not include defense spending.

The legislation includes the following, among other things:

  • PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Includes funds to relocate and renovate facilities for the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country, which performs thousands of abortions each year.
  • IMMIGRATION: Includes a prohibition on any information sharing between the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services, weakening our immigration laws.
  • CHINA: Increases dependence on China for critical minerals by attempting to dramatically increase deployment of technologies that use critical minerals, such as electric vehicles, without having domestic sources or alternatives already in place.
  • DEFENSE: Underfunds efforts to modernize our nuclear weapons complex and eliminates provisions that prohibit the closure of Guantanamo Bay and the use of military construction funds to build or renovate a facility on U.S. soil to house current detainees.
  • ENERGY: Restricts funding for offshore oil and gas activities to only areas included in the Obama-era leasing plan.
  • TRANSPORTATION: Includes equity and climate requirements for transportation programs that will add new burdens on state and local agencies.
  • EDUCATION: Funds a new school-based health center program that provides contraceptives to students, which could occur without parental knowledge.