The Administration has postulated that a deal on Iran’s nuclear capability is the alternative to war as America and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany) have endeavored to come to terms. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, as we mark two years since the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell for murder, we celebrate the House of Representatives’ historic passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act by a vote of 242-184,Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee CEO and President, Penny Nance, made the following remarks Read More
Debbie Smith Reauthorization: CWALAC is pleased the House reauthorized the Debbie Smith Act. The Debbie Smith Act provides funds to state and local law enforcement agencies to perform DNA testing on rape kits. Testing rape kits is crucial to taking dangerous criminals off the streets and bringing justice and closure to rape victims. The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.
National Women’s History Museum (NWHM): The Natural Resources Committee marked up and passed the NWHM his week. CWALAC worked with Committee staffers to determine its consideration in Committee. We heard from our friends that House leadership wanted to see this legislation passed quickly through Committee. CWALAC wanted to prevent good Members of Congress from having to go on the record during a Committee vote and agreed with Committee staff this should move as part of a unanimous consent package where a couple of representatives would submit their stated opposition to the legislation. In addition to their statements of opposition, these representatives met with Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) to express their disapproval and ask that this legislation not be placed on the suspension calendar. CWALAC met with 14 offices this week to oppose the NWHM. Act Now: Call your representative and ask him/her to oppose the NWHM. Click here to find your representative. Also, call Leader Cantor at 202-225-2815 and ask him not to bring this to a vote until it has proper safeguards.
Budget: The House voted on several budgets this week. Republicans brought up the president’s budget, which over the past several years has not received a single vote. This year, the president’s budget received two Democrat votes. The House also considered other Democrat budgets from the Progressive and Congressional Black Caucuses. CWALAC supported both the Ryan (which passed) and Republican Study Committee (which failed) budgets.
Paycheck Fairness: After circulation of an opposition letter written by our CWALAC team, the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) did not receive the needed 60 votes to advance in the Senate. This is a great victory for CWALAC and all women hoping to continue to cultivate a culture of proper “work/life balance” and foster more freedom in the workforce.
National Women’s History Museum (NWHM): The CWALAC team continues to track the progress and movement of the National Women’s History Museum Commission Act. With Majority Leader Reid ready to push this through on a “fast track,” CWALAC will continue to do all it can both on and off the Hill to ensure that this bill does not come up for a vote on the Senate floor anytime soon! To see why CWALAC strongly opposes this new museum, click here. Take Action: Contact your senator now and tell them you OPPOSE the NWHM.
Abstinence Day on the Hill: On April 3, Shari Rendall joined National Abstinence Education Association and Family Research Council to host a Hill briefing for 45 staffers on abstinence education. The briefing highlighted the importance of sexual risk avoidance. In addition, we were joined by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Illinois). He and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois) are the cosponsors of the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, which gives money for sexual risk avoidance from an ObamaCare comprehensive sex education fund. Please call Rep. Hultgren at 202-225-2976 and Rep. Lipinski at 202-225-5701 and thank them for introducing the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, H.R. 718. Call your representative and ask him/her to cosponsor H.R.718. Click here to find your representative.
Religious Freedom in the Military: CWALAC and the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition sent a letter to Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, questioning her about a recent incident where a Bible verse was removed from a cadet’s white board. This was done despite official academy policy, which permits the use of white boards for personal messages.
In the letter, the Coalition asked for a meeting with Lt. Gen. Johnson to discuss what this incident means for religious liberty in the Air Force.
ObamaCare: The House voted on H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, sponsored by Rep. Todd Young (R-Indiana), to protect hardworking Americans from losing wages as a direct result of Obamacare’s 30-hour rule. ObamaCare has incentivized employers to cut employees’ hours.
Budget Act: The House voted on Rep. Tom Price’s (R-Georgia) Pro-Growth Budgeting Act, H.R. 1874. This requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide detailed information on the economic impact of major legislation as a supplement to the CBO cost estimates.
Sexual Risk Avoidance: On Monday, March 31, the Senate passed (64-35) the “Doc Fix” Medicare Compensation legislation. This measure includes language that will allow for the continuing of Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) funding. This is a small, yet strategic victory that promotes abstinence as opposed to mere Sexual Risk Reduction (SRR) or “comprehensive sex education.”
Education: This week, CWALAC worked diligently to gather much needed signatures for Sen. Grassley’s (R-Iowa) “Dear Colleague” Letter. This circulated letter demands that the FY 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bills include provisions that increase parental control and foster greater accountability. Most importantly, Sen. Grassley’s letter clarifies that all funds appropriated will not be used to develop or implement the Common Core state standards!
Paycheck Fairness Act: On April 1, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Understanding that this bill places undue burdens and regulations on employers, discourages flexible working arrangements, and in the end does not help women, CWALAC is working hard on the Hill to halt this dangerous piece of legislation.
Both the House and Senate were out of session this week.
Highlights while members were back in the district:
After being pushed to vote on the National Women’s History Museum, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) has agreed to hold a vote on this legislation (H.R. 863) sometime this year. While the idea of celebrating women is admirable, we are concerned that the content of such a museum would be slanted to represent feminist ideology and would not provide an accurate portrayal of American women. Already, we have a clear indication about the types of women that would be highlighted. The website attached to this proposed museum references Margaret Sanger nine times and Victoria Woodhull over 20, while referencing Phyllis Schlafly once and not mentioning Beverly LaHaye at all. It also highlights Sandra Fluke, while ignoring Jeane Kirkpatrick, Kay Cole James, Alveda King, and Star Parker. The Public Lands Subcommittee will hold a hearing about this legislation next Tuesday.
Act Now: Please call Majority Leader Cantor at 202-225-4000 and ask him not to bring this legislation up for a vote in the House unless the diversity of opinion among American women about our own history is affirmatively addressed and safeguarded by Congress.
One year ago, on March 18, Kermit Gosnell and his “House of Horrors” became national news.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) had this to say:
“It was one year ago this week that Americans across the country first learned the name of a Philadelphia abortionist named Kermit Gosnell. The Gosnell trial shocked the conscience of the nation and awakened many to the dangerous conditions that can exist at abortion clinics nationwide. It prompted a renewed commitment to ensuring that health and safety standards at these clinics are actually enforced, and it led to the humane effort to ensure that late-term babies who have developed to the point that they are capable of feeling pain are protected from rogue doctors and lax regulators alike. At the federal level, this effort resulted in the Pain-Capable Abortion Act, which passed the House last summer in a historic pro-life vote. Senator Lindsey Graham has sponsored a companion bill in the Senate, and I am proud to stand with the Pro-Life Women’s Caucus in Congress and a clear majority of women nationwide in support of this common-sense legislation. It is time for America to join the ranks of most other developed nations around the world and restrict abortion at least at the point at which science tells us that unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. On this anniversary of the Gosnell trial, let’s show the world that we remember those who have been victimized by people like Kermit Gosnell and unite in this positive and life-affirming effort to safeguard the most vulnerable among us. Let’s take up this important pro-life legislation and send it to the President.”
Action: Click here to see if your senator supports the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. If not, call your senators and urge them to support S. 1670.
Ukraine: Last Friday, the House passed a bill to provide the Administration with the authority to extend loan guarantees to the government in Ukraine. This week, the House passed a bill that expressed support for the people of Ukraine and their territorial integrity. Both bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Executive Overreach: This week the House passed a couple of bills that would try to rein in the Administration. The first requires the Administration to report to Congress when it decides not to execute the laws of the land. The second gives Congress a way to sue the Executive branch for failure to faithfully execute the laws. Although President Obama has issued a veto threat, it is unlikely that these bills will reach his desk because Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is not likely to bring them up for a vote in the Senate.
Air Force: This week, the Air Force Academy forced a cadet to remove a Bible verse posted on a cadet’s whiteboard after receiving a complaint from Mikey Weinstein at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The whiteboards are for personal as well as business purposes. At a House Armed Services Committee hearing that was supposed to focus on budget issues, Reps. John Fleming (R-Louisiana), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Michael Turner (R-Ohio), Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina), Randy Forbes (R-Virginia), and Michael Conaway (R-Texas) expressed concerns and questioned Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Walsh about the incident.
Please call these representatives and thank them for their efforts to protect religious freedom in our military. Also, please watch for upcoming alerts on this issue.
John Fleming: 202-225-2777
Doug Lamborn: 202-225-4422
Michael Turner: 202-225-6465
Mike McIntyre: 202-225-2731
Randy Forbes: 202-225-6365
Michael Conaway: 202-225-3605
Senate focus this week was on a bill to extend aid to the Ukraine. During the bill’s markup in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, there were talks of adding provisions that would have, if passed, saved First Amendment rights for groups who are in danger of the administration’s proposed International Revenue Service (IRS) rule.
Click here for more information on the proposed IRS rule.
Despite the IRS provision being non-germane, or non-relevant to the topic of the bill, conservatives tried to negotiate one of their top priorities in exchange for Democrats offering one of their priorities, International Monetary Fund (IMF) provisions.
As of Friday, the IRS protections were not added, but the IMF provisions were advancing. Those opposed to the provisions highlight concerns with national sovereignty, while Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress to approve reforms to the IMF.
Currently, the decision to add IMF is slowing down any effort of congressional assistance to the Ukraine during this crucial time with Russia. The Senate is expected to vote on an aid bill as soon as it returns from recess.
Action needed: Get our message out by becoming active on Twitter. To read how, click here.
Next week the Senate will be out of session.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives were out-of-session this week.
While Members of Congress were in their districts, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) continued to meet with House staff on the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014, H.R. 3865. Since this legislation was only reported out of the Ways and Means Committee the week before, many staffers were unaware of the legislation. We highlighted the importance of prohibiting the IRS from finalizing its proposed regulation that would restrict first amendment rights of free speech for 501(c)(4) organizations. During several of these meetings, we had the opportunity to see the power of prayer. In one office, a staffer shared how his mother was a good friend of Linda LaHaye Murphy, who led her to the Lord on a trip to the Grand Canyon. Another office shared how they had a preacher on staff and started each morning in their Congressional office with prayer and a devotional.
Act: Please call your representative and ask him to support H.R. 3865. Click here to find your representative. And please continue to pray for your elected officials and their staff. Prayer changes things.
Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865): The Ways and Means Committee favorably reported Rep. Dave Camp’s bill on Tuesday, February 11, along a party-line vote. This bill would prevent the IRS from finalizing a rule that would restrict 501(c)(4) organizations (like Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee) and silence our voices, in violation of our First Amendment rights. We expect this bill to be voted on by the entire House at the end of February.
Click here to read the letter we sent to the House.
Please call your representative today and urge him/her to support H.R. 3865. To find your representative, click here.
Marriage Week: This week is National Marriage Week. On February 11, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) organized a special order to promote the importance for families of marriage between one man and one woman. The following representatives spoke on the floor: Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama), Scott Garrett (R-New Jersey), Doug LaMalfa (R-California), Randy Weber (R-Texas), and Ted Yoho (R-Florida).
State Marriage Defense: Wednesday, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the State Marriage Defense Act (S.2024). This bill counters the announced policy regarding marriage made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) which states that the U.S. federal government will recognize all same-sex unions, even in states that declare marriage as being between one man and one woman.
This decision by the DOJ violates states’ rights by taking the opinion from United States vs. Windsor made by the Supreme Court and extending it to states whose laws uphold traditional marriage.
To read CWALAC’s support letter, click here.
Action: Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to cosponsor the State Marriage Defense Act, S. 2024. To find your senators, click here.
IRS Proposed Rule: Tuesday, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) introduced the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act, S.2011, along with 37 additional senators; those offering their support include: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota), and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
This bill, like the one introduced in the House, seeks to prevent the IRS from enacting regulations that would silence Americans’ First Amendment rights.
To read CWALAC’s support letter, click here.
Debt Ceiling Increase: The Senate passed a debt ceiling increase this week, sending the measure to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
Many conservatives are disappointed with the way the debt ceiling talks have concluded. Currently, conservatives in both chambers, who have been fighting for cuts and accountability on spending, are finding their hands tied. The only real chance at addressing our growing 17-trillion-dollar debt is during the mid-term elections.
This week started off with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) hurling a direct blow to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The study released by that non-partisan group exposed the troublesome ramifications that come with the ACA and what it will cost the American people.
On February 5, the House Ways and Means Oversight Committee held a hearing with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen regarding the ongoing investigation of IRS targeting of conservative groups and the newly proposed regulations to silence conservative organizations like Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
This hearing was the first one since Koskinen became commissioner, and he appeared to be towing the administration’s line by refusing to say whether he would comply with Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s request to provide IRS and Treasury documents that would shed light on these newly proposed regulations.
Chairman Camp has also introduced legislation, The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act, H.R. 3865, that would prohibit the IRS from enacting these regulations. Please ask your representative to cosponsor and support this bill. To find your representative, click here.
For more information about the IRS proposed regulations, click here.
CWALAC joined Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) on Thursday for his first Google Hangout. We thanked him for fighting for our families and protecting religious liberties.
Common Core: Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced a Common Core Resolution (S.Res 345) to amplify the importance of keeping education decision making on a local level. CWA’s State Directors have been working to hold their governors accountable for signing away their constitutional rights and handing power over to the federal government.
To read CWALAC’s press statement, click here.
Action: Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to sign onto Sen. Graham’s Common Core Resolution, S.Res 345.
Iran Sanction Hearing: Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has appeased the administration by not bring up the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, which currently has 59 co-sponsors, including 13 Democrats, and would expect to pass with more than 70 votes. Instead, the administration is content chasing after a bone that Iran will likely not give up.
Congress has been very clear that they will put the safety of our ally Israel and the rest of the Middle East first, which is the message that was echoed in this week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, where senators questioned Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financing at the U.S. Department of Treasury, on nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Action: Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to co-sponsor — and tell leadership to bring to the floor — the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act (S.1881). To find your senators, click here.
To read CWALAC’s letter of support, sent to Capitol Hill, for the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act, click here.
IRS Proposed Rule: This week, top Congressional Republicans sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner, urging him to keep a level perspective and not to accept the new Obama Administration proposed regulation that would end 501 c4s, including Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has been outspoken on this violation of free speech, speaking on the Senate Floor as a way to alert the American people to what this administration is seeking to do.
Sen. McConnell said Thursday, “And here’s the thing: the administration knows it could never get anything like this through Congress the democratic way, so it’s trying to quietly impose the new regulations through the back door — by executive fiat.”
The new rule would redefine what outside groups can do to silence the voice of conservatives.