House Legislative Update for August 8, 2014

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Members of Congress have left Washington, D.C., for their districts.  Now is a great time to visit your representatives while they are at home!

Standing with Israel: Just before Members of Congress left town, the House passed emergency funding for Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System.  This legislation will provide $225 million to help Israel replenish stocks of interceptors for its Iron Dome defense system. While Hamas is using men, women, and children as human shields, Israel’s Iron Dome shoots down rockets before they can kill civilians.

State Marriage Defense Act: Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that Virginia could not define marriage as the union of one man and one woman because it violates the U.S. Constitution. This is the second Appeals court to hold that a fundamental right to marry encompasses the right to same-sex “marriage”.  The courts seem likely to continue this trend to upend the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor which affirms states’ rights to define marriage for their citizens.  For this reason, CWALAC staff is working hard to encourage representatives to cosponsor Rep. Randy Weber’s (R-Texas) State Marriage Defense Act, H.R. 3829. This legislation affirms the rights of states to define marriage for their citizens.

Take Action:  Please call or meet with your representative during the August recess and urge him/her to cosponsor this legislation.  To find your representative, click here.

Justina’s Law: This week, CWALAC signed onto a coalition letter urging Members of Congress to cosponsor and support Justina’s Law.  Justina’s Law was inspired by Justina Pelletier, a 16-year-old girl who was taken from her parents and became a ward of the state after Boston Children’s Hospital alleged medical abuse.  Justina Pelletier’s diagnosis was changed from a chronic illness to a psychiatric one, and her “treatment plan” allowed her to receive a high-risk treatment that provided no prospect of any direct benefit to Justina.  In order to prevent another child from being used as a “guinea pig,” Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), Karen Bass (D-California), Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania), and Jim McDermott (D-Washington) introduced Justina’s Law, H.R. 4989.  This legislation prohibits federal funds from being used to conduct or support treatment or research on wards of the state that presents “greater than minimal risk to the patient or subject’s health with no or minimal prospect of direct benefit.”

To see the coalition letter, click here.

Take Action:  Please call or meet with your representative during the August recess and urge him/her to cosponsor this legislation.  To find your representative, click here.