Obama appointee has interesting take on the law

From the blog of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) comes this shocker: James B. Steinberg, President Obama’s nominee to be the next Deputy Secretary of State, claimed in written testimony to the Foreign Relations Committee that Congress cannot constitutionally restrict taxpayer funding to perform or promote abortions. Mr. Steinberg stated that the Mexico City policy, which bars taxpayer funding of abortions overseas, “is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.” Here is the Q&A:

Question from Senator DeMint: For more than 30 years the Hyde amendments, which prohibit federal funding for abortion services, have been supported by Republican and Democrat administrations and Congresses. Unfortunately, while this is the domestic policy of the United States, President Obama has vowed to reverse our foreign policy by repealing the Mexico City policy and use the federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services overseas. Do you support President Obama’s efforts to lift the Mexico City restrictions? Do you believe our foreign policy should contradict long held domestic policies?

Answer from James Steinberg: President Obama has supported repeal of the Mexico City policy, as has Secretary Clinton. Longstanding law, authored by Senator Jesse Helms, expressly prohibits the use of U.S. funds of abortion. The Mexico City policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.

DeMint explains in the same post that this statement is a direct contradiction of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Rust v. Sullivan, in 1991. But then again, this is all about change, not about laws and things like that.

HT: NRO’s The Corner

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