Legislative Update for October 26, 2012

By October 30, 2012Legislative Updates
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We are two weeks away from one of the most crucial elections in recent memory, and Members of Congress are feverishly campaigning for last-minute votes.In battleground states, it’s the non-stop political ads, some which are so beyond the pale they would make former-President Bill Clinton blush.

Health and Human Services Conscience Mandate

Despite President Obama’s claims to the contrary, since August 1, 2012, those employers that “are not religious enough,” as defined by the Obama Administration, are now forced to violate their consciences or pay a substantial fine.

This summer, Hercules Industries, and the Newland family who owns it, won a temporary reprieve in their suit against Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, because they cannot violate their Catholic religious and moral teachings in the operation of Hercules Industries.The Obama Administration had argued that a secular employer does not engage in any “exercise of religion.” Contradicting Obama’s claims of unwavering religious freedom, his administration appealed the ruling on September 25.

Hobby Lobby stores, an arts and crafts supply retailer, filed suit against the Obama Administration on September 12, because they want to operate their company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.Like Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday so that their employees can exercise their Christian faith. Like all for-profit companies, Hobby Lobby does not meet the religious exemption or the “one-year safe harbor.”The arguments in this case will be heard on November 1.

In the beginning of October, Tyndale House Publishers, a strictly Christian publisher of books, Bibles, and digital media, filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s mandate. According to the Obama Administration for-profit corporations are categorically non-religious.Absurdly enough, a Bible publisher is not “religious enough” to be exempt from the mandate.Arguments in this case will be heard next week, and a ruling could come before the November elections.

Paycheck Fairness

The Democrat mantra is to continue hammering Republicans for the so-called “war on women,” mostly focusing on Republican opposition to Paycheck Fairness legislation.Women need to use their “lady smarts” and recognize that the Paycheck Fairness Act will hurt the individuals it’s intended to help: young women or women who hold part-time jobs.

Instead of allowing wages to be set on factors between the employer and the employee, the Paycheck Fairness Act eliminates all flexibility and choice.

Numerous studies show that pay gaps aren’t necessarily because of discrimination, but most often come out of the individual choices made by men and women. Even the Department of Labor comes to the “unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action.”

If Paycheck Fairness legislation is enacted, women will likely face more barriers to employment, not less. Please call your representative and senators and ask them to oppose any efforts to pass the Paycheck Fairness bill during the lame duck.