“NO” on $4.75 Million Earmark for Susan G. Komen (H.R. 2722)

UPDATE (7/15/15): By unanimous consent the House amended H.R. 2722 to strip Susan G. Komen from the bill.  Komen (and thus abortion giant Planned Parenthood) will no longer benefit from the sale of the commemorative coins.  Due to longstanding opposition to the commemorative coin process, Heritage Action remains opposed but will not key vote against the bill.

Today, the House will vote on the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 2722), introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) 12%.  The bill would require the U.S. Treasury to mint coins that would funnel up to $4.75 million to Dallas-based Susan G. Komen — an organization that notoriously funds abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

The Heritage Foundation previously observed the commemorative coin process “has all the marks of an earmark.” In 2012, Heritage Action explained the coins served as a “creative workaround that allows funds to flow to those prized pet projects.” Commemorative coins are problematic but the recipients are usually sympathetic or wholesome. But as two-time breast-cancer survivor Eve Sanchez Silver told the National Catholic Register last fall:

“Here was a breast-health organization [Susan G. Komen] — a very life-affirming organization, from my perspective — funding an organization that essentially kills people. I couldn’t understand why they thought that was okay.”

According to Komen’s most recent, publicly available annual report, the organization brought in nearly $270 million in donations.  One of the official findings in H.R. 2722 brags that “[o]ver the past 5 years, more than 80 cents of every dollar spent by Komen has gone directly to its mission to save lives and end breast cancer by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.” However, during the non-profit’s abortion flap in 2012 significant questions were raised about what those programs are for.  Last year, the LA Times wrote:

“It transpired, for instance, that while the foundation depicted itself as devoted chiefly to research for a breast cancer cure, it spent only about 20% of its donations on research; the biggest expenditure category was public education, at more than 50%. Critics questioned whether ‘education’ really should be such a heavy priority in a field where research issues remain important.”

The other beneficiary of the coin’s surcharge is the New York City-based Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which is located in the bill sponsor’s district.

Heritage Action opposes H.R. 2722 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.