Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. As per Sean Cardinal O'Malley, “By passing this legislation, the House has taken a decisive step toward respect for unborn human life, reflecting the will of the American people” (Though certainly a "decisive step," HR 7 would unfortunately NOT stop all taxpayer funding of abortions.). While HR 7 is also expected to pass in the U.S. Senate, a presidential veto is anticipated:
"Action by both the House and the Senate is required to override a presidential veto. A two-thirds majority vote of the Members present is required to override a presidential veto. If one house fails to override a veto, the other house does not attempt to override, even if the votes are present to succeed. The House and Senate may attempt to override a veto anytime during the Congress in which the veto is issued. Should both houses of Congress successfully vote to override a presidential veto, the bill becomes law. According...[to] the Congressional Research service, from 1789 through 2004, only 106 of 1,484 regular presidential vetoes were overridden by Congress"(http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/presveto.htm).
As I understand the above (if all members were voting), 294 votes would be needed in the House and 67 votes in the Senate, to override a presidential veto. So, 242 House votes are actually 52 shy of a two thirds majority, which leads to my question....
Did More than 52 Catholics Vote Against HR 7?Yup, they sure did! (See http://www.pewforum.org/2015/01/05/members-of-congress-religious-affiliations/ and https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/114-2015/h45). As a matter of fact, my own informal (and quite fallible) count was 65! Of the 18 representatives in the U.S. House from our own Pennsylvania, 13 voted yes and five voted no. Among our five representatives who voted NO, 4 identify themselves as Catholic:
I believe that it is the responsibility of our shepherds (and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference) to publicly remind Catholics that voting to continue taxpayer funding of abortion was NOT a legitimate Catholic position.
- Brendan Boyle (13th district)
- Robert Brady (1st district)
- Matt Cartwright (17th district)
- Mike Doyle (14th district)