Legislative Update, June 28 2013

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Celebrating Grace: On June 24, ConcernedWomen for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), Recording IndustryAssociation of America, Sony Music Entertainment, and Faith and Law sponsored “CelebratingGrace with Matt Maher” on Capitol Hill.This event was co-hosted by the Prayer Caucus.About 75 Hill staffers and coalition partnersjoined us for a morning of prayer, conversation, and music.Matt Maher was incredibly inspirational andwas a great way for CWALAC to showcase our Biblical worldview on Capitol Hill.

Conscience Mandate: Last week, GenevaCollege received a preliminary injunction in their challenge against the HHSmandate that requires all Americans, except houses of worship, to violate theirreligious or moral convictions to provide/pay for abortion-inducing drugs.Geneva College became the first non-profit toreceive a preliminary injunction (previously courts put the litigation on holdbecause the mandate would not be implemented until August 1).

On June27, the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals gave a major victory to theHobby Lobby stores when it reversed the district court decision to deny apreliminary injunction in their suit against the HHS mandate.The 10th Circuit held that Hobby Lobbyestablished a likelihood of success that their rights under the HHS mandate aresubstantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement, and haveestablished an irreparable harm.

The HouseCommittee on Energy and Commerce, led by Chairmen Fred Upton (R-Michigan)and Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania) has released a report on the HHS mandate whichincludes a status page on the pending legal cases.While the Energy and Commerce Committee ispushing leadership to act on this timely issue, the House was “busy” taking avote on legislation pertaining to sexual assaults in the military that hadalready passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).The “reason” for the vote was to highlightthis important issue and get it through Congress quicker than the NDAA, whichwill likely need to be reconciled between the House and Senate versions.Meanwhile, the August 1 deadline is rapidlyapproaching, and the House still needs to address this legislatively.

Action: Please call your representative andask him/her to cosponsor Rep. Diane Black’s Health Care Conscience Rights Act,H.R. 940.There are currently 178cosponsors on this bill, and we want to get to 218!To find your representative, please click here.


We live in a society of social media andentertainment. So, when it comes to budgets and spending bills, many citizensare going to lose interest. That cannot be the case! CWALAC understands numbers may not be yourthing, but it’s important to know where your tax dollars are going and how yourelected officials are using that money.With that said, as spending bills come forward in the Senate, a keypiece to remember in the numbers game is the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).

The BCA was signed into law by PresidentObama on August 2, 2011, after being passed by both the House and Senate. TheAct brought several cuts to government spending. To this day, the numberswithin the bill are the only reduction measures to America’s growing 17trillion dollar debt.

Spending Totals: The SenateAppropriations Committee adopted on party-line vote, 15-14, the panel’sspending totals for fiscal 2014 spending.The set overall limit is $1.058 trillion, the number laid out in theSenate budget resolution (S Con Res 8).

EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act (ENDA): The Employment Non-Discrimination, S. 815, wouldprohibit discrimination in the workplace based on “sexual orientation.” Introducedby Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), ENDA has 53 cosponsors.

This bill would severely curbconstitutionally guaranteed “unalienable” rights that Americans hold dear,including the freedom of speech, religion, and association. ENDA is set for a July 10 markup in theHealth, Education, Labor and Pension Committee. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) alreadycommitted, after the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA, that ENDA will have fullSenate action.

Action: Call your senatorsand urge them to oppose ENDA in Committee.

Immigration: Despite not taking astance on the Senate Immigration bill, CWALAC is following the debate closely. S. 744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity,and Immigration Modernization Act, passed the Senate on June 27 with a vote of68-32. To see how your member voted, clickhere.