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CWALAC Staff

What is the Congress up to on Tax Reform?

By | News and Events | No Comments

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and sent it over to the Senate.

Earlier this week, the Senate introduced their own version of a tax cut bill.  The Senate Finance Committee sent out for a vote a tax plan that raises the Child Tax Credit from $1000 to $2000; this is a change that Concerned Women for America has been advocating for the last several months.

Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also moved to repeal the Obamacare individual mandate tax to help provide additional relief to low- and middle-income families. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that repealing the mandate would lower the federal budget deficit by $338 billion over the next 10 years. The individual mandate tax was created in the Affordable Care Act as a tax levied against the American people, forcing them to either pay a fine or pay for health coverage they don’t want or can’t afford.

Watch for a Senate floor vote on the tax reform package, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, to happen as soon as the Senate returns from their Thanksgiving break.  If they are successful, the bill will then be on its way to a Conference Committee with the House of Representatives to work out the differences in the two bills.

Pictured above is CWA Chief of Staff, Caroline Aderholt, with Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Capitol Hill Brief — Israeli Anthem

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, Support for Israel | No Comments

 

I hope you realize that anti-Semitism is alive and growing in some parts of the world.  Did you see the recent video of Israel’s Tal Flicker who won the gold medal in judo at a recent event in Abu Dhabi?

Flicker took his place atop the winner’s podium, gratefully accepted his gold medal, and stood straight for the playing of winner’s national anthem, as it is customary. But, Israel’s anthem was not played. Instead, they played the anthem of the International Judo Federation. The Israeli flag was not raised either.

In the video you saw Flicker humbly singing the anthem for himself, while they publicly humiliated him.

Friends, this makes me fighting mad. We must stand against anti-Semitism wherever it is found.


Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

Capitol Hill Brief — Trump Administration’s Support for Israel

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, Support for Israel | No Comments

 

It’s been refreshing to witness the Trump Administration’s unabashed commitment to support Israel. And I’m so grateful I got to thank the president at a dinner. Their latest action involved withdrawing from UNESCO, citing their unquestionable anti-Israel bias.

The U.S. owed $550 million to it, and it contributed annually about 70 million, which compromised about 22 percent of its budget.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Trump, saying, “This is a courageous and ethical decision because UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd; instead of preserving history, it distorts it.”


Let us continue to pray for the Trump Administration, Israel and the overall situation in the Middle East. Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

Capitol Hill Brief — U.N. Moves Against Israel

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, Religious Liberty, Support for Israel | No Comments

 

Believe it or not, the United Nations has earmarked millions of dollars for Palestinian efforts to pursue international legal action against Israel over the next several years.  The U.N. said it “will also strengthen its own advocacy on the impact of Israeli violations.”

Both President Donald Trump and U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley have shown steadfast support for Israel and we are grateful to them.

I was able to thank the president personally for his support for Israel at a dinner I attended with him recently. But you and I must join in our support through much needed prayer efforts and also by calling our congressmen and asking them to stand boldly for Israel against those who openly seek its destruction.


Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

CWA’s Legislative Department Defends Adoption

By | Blog, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

By Friday evening, Penny had joined with a few key Pro-Family and Adoption leaders in America to send a letter to Chairman Kevin Brady outlining the concerns on the issue and asking him to ensure that the adoption tax credit is protected and preserved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Penny continued to be engaged by being quoted over the weekend by media on the issue. Jaime Ballew, our House Legislative Director, was quick to communicate with House leadership that the grassroots of Concerned Women for America was excited to communicate directly with all of their members of Congress their disappointment of the child adoption tax credit being dropped from the tax reform package. Jaime communicated with leadership that we wanted to see how they could fix the situation. By midweek we were assured internally that we would be pleased with the results of the final markup on Thursday.

On Thursday morning, we received word that the adoption tax credit would be preserved in its current form through a Chairman’s amendment to the bill. This is a perfect example of how CWA works with our friends in Congress in leadership positions to move the needle forward, or, sometimes, put the needle back. Although tax credits like the adoption tax credit are unpopular with staunch fiscal conservatives, the adoption tax credit arguably provides a net gain because of the incentive it gives families to adopt from the foster care system, thereby saving taxpayers the estimated $26,000 annually that each foster child costs. Not only did we work with House Leadership to assure that this credit would be maintained, but we worked with other members on the committee to emphasize the importance of this credit. Our clout and influence is due in large part to our grassroots power; and sometimes even just letting Leadership know that our grassroots are angry is enough push to get a problem solved.

What happened when the left thought I would be joining the Trump Administration

By | Blog, Defense of Family, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

A couple of years ago, while appearing on CNN with Van Jones, former Obama Administration Special Adviser for Green Energy, he shared something personal.

In a moment of transparency, the Yale-educated lawyer said that the public smearing he received during his tenure as the Green Energy Czar “felt like someone ripped off [his] face and put it on someone else’s body.”  He said he didn’t recognize the person they were describing in press accounts.

Conservatives had little to no sympathy for him or others, but recent events have hopefully shed a different light on the matter.

Confirmation hearings are becoming something of a blood sport when the nominees are people who adhere to orthodox Christian views on abortion and matters of sexual identity.

First, there was Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for Deputy Director of Office of Management and Budget.  Sen. Bernie Sanders’ questioned his Christian faith and belief in the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation, suggesting basically that his belief makes him unfit for office.  Then there was “the Dogma lives loudly within you” remark to Judge Amy Coney Barrett by Sen. Diane Feinstein denigrating the Notre Dame Law  Professor and mother of seven’s Catholic faith.  The senator’s outrage was based on an article that basically said the opposite of what was charged.

What is happening? Not since the JFK days has there been such hostility to faith.  Sadly, back then it was from Protestants, but this is a new, equally insidious version from the left.

The final awakening on this issue came to Concerned Women for America due to Washington rumors of my “imminent” appointment to the office of Ambassador-At-Large for the Office of Global Women’s Issues. This is a position that was created by Secretary Hillary Clinton to assist with the advancement of women’s equality and the empowerment of women and girls around the world.

The ensuing outrage from the left was eye-opening. At the mere hint of the idea that a pro-life, conservative woman could be in the running opened up a flood of hostile and, in many cases, false or misleading articles written by leftist media.

Suddenly, the idea of “fake news” took on new meaning.  Left-of-center reporters mostly relied on an opposition research dossier which quotes formerly-affiliated employees from CWA — much of which was dated years before my tenure — accepted without checking false statements by abortion activists, or, worse yet, isolated quotes out of context, much like in the case of Judge Barrett.

Just to name a few:

They claim we oppose birth control, when in truth CWA, and I personally, like the majority of Evangelical women, draw a bright line between birth control and abortion. We have never taken a position against it, but we do support the rights of conscience of women like the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Left, however, wishes to force everyone, even nuns who take a vow of celibacy and poverty, to fund abortion and abortion-inducing drugs.  Their lack of tolerance for women of faith is shocking.

They claim that we never support rape-and-incest exceptions; this is one in which they twisted a theological piece that I wrote for the Christian Post.  The truth is that every child is innocent.  I value every child and her mother and addressed in that piece that abortion harms the woman as well as her child.  I believe women deserve better, and as the church, we must offer them better options.

As the survivor of an assault and attempted rape, I know that this issue is deeply painful and complicated, and suffering women deserve our help and grace.

I believe that abortion is the most cynical answer to the plight of women, but the left sees it as the first and best response.

The story of women who regret their abortions is prevalent.  Pro-life Americans offer love and hope to women every day in pregnancy help centers, through adoption and through material help. Regardless, in the very piece they criticized, I end by saying, “Regardless of her choice, we must pray for her!”

As a practical matter, every federal legislative effort and most state bills endorsed by CWA contain rape and incest exceptions.  I also addressed this in my book, if people had bothered to look.

“ … I should add however that I have and do support legislation that contains a rape-incest exception if it is essential to protect the vast majority of babies.  Public policy is downstream of public opinion, and we still have work to do.” (Feisty and Feminine, 89)

They falsely claim we support the criminalization of homosexuality or transgenderism, when in truth, I have never believed it and said the opposite specifically in my book.  We can disagree on matters of policy for our military or our schools, but we are called to love our neighbor, and that includes our LGBTQ neighbors.

“Condemning unkindness is not a religious or political stance; it is a human one, and our message transcends those divisions. This means that we condemn liberal attacks against Christian and conservative views; but it also means that we must take a stand against nastiness toward gay people or any group for that matter. We absolutely must condemn countries operating under sharia law where homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. In Nigeria in early 2015, fourteen men were dragged from their beds and attacked by men with clubs and iron bars who said they wanted to ‘cleanse’ their neighborhood of gay people. And who could forget the video of ISIS pushing a gay man off of a roof to his death in Mosul, Iraq? We have to speak out against these kinds of atrocities, and against governments that condone them. Violence of any kind has no place among those who seek peace, and as followers of Christ, it is our duty to stand up against this kind of injustice. We need to condemn violence abroad as well as here in the United States. But even short of violence, we need to consider whether we do what’s right when people say something unkind about gay or transgender people and those who don’t share our opinions or lifestyles. Because here’s the problem: people practicing these lifestyles can’t hear our words of love and hope when we are allowing other people to define us,” (From my book, Feisty & Feminine, Page 70).

They claim that CWA and I oppose the Violence Against Women Act when in truth we have criticized its efficacy. We suggested that there needs to be better oversight ending the waste and fraud by grantees and instead that the federal offer block grants to the states in order to address what even supporters admit is too broad to be effective. (From my book “Feisty & Feminine,” Page 44)

The left is fine with spending $400 million per year on programs that aren’t doing enoughto protect women.  Just because the bill is named well doesn’t mean it is stopping domestic violence. Again, women deserve better.

They claim that I do not support anti-bullying efforts against children who identify as LGBTQ.  That is 100 percent false.

In the piece that sparked the hatred, I said, “I despise children being bullied for being ‘gay’ just as much as for being obese or for being from another country or simply being different or for whatever reason. How about we teach our kids, ‘Be ye kind one to another.’”

In my book, I went further. While I absolutely support an end to any and all forms of bullying, I can’t help but notice how ironic it is that conservative Christian kids in our school system are bullied for their own beliefs. What are our schools doing to protect them? (“Feisty & Feminine,” 56)

And just to be clear (despite this being the height of silliness), I don’t hate “Frozen.”

Interestingly, reporters conveniently left out all of my lifelong work caring for “the least of these” on issues like fighting sex trafficking and fighting for cleaning up the horrible backlog of testing for rape kits (“Feisty & Feminine,” Page 46-48).

I also worked with others to successfully pass into law the Second Chance Act (Public Law 110-199), which tears down barriers for prisoners reentering society.  As a member of Right on Crime, I am working for restorative justice reform, including the use of drug and youth courts and access to mental health care.

But let’s be honest, it does not matter what I say or what I believe. The left must twist my words, because at the end of the day, a pro-life woman with an orthodox Christian worldview is unacceptable to them.

It is becoming a common theme in confirmation hearings. Both the Republicans and Democrats are guilty of demagoguery as Van Jones suggested, and it needs to stop.

Now, to address the rumor of an appointment to the Trump administration: The honest answer is that there is great appeal to the idea of working for President Trump and the opportunity to work on behalf of women around the globe.

It is my hope that under President Trump the Office of Global Women’s Issues will stand for the rights of women to seek fulfillment of their basic needs, to feed and clothe themselves and their children, to fully participate in society, and to be defended against human rights abuses such as violence, killing, discrimination, and false imprisonment. As full participants in society, women should have the agency to pursue education and economic livelihood and to vote or run for office.

There is clearly work to be done. American conservatives often view the world through the lens of our own experience, forgetting that there are millions of women and girls around the world denied basic human rights and treated by their government or culture as literally second class citizens facing discrimination at every turn.

I would be honored to serve my nation and President Trump; however, I do not feel God is leading me to leave Concerned Women for America at this time. We have important work to do and are in a season of amazing growth.  Most importantly, I have about 18 months left before my last child goes off to college.

In Washington, ones family is often used as an excuse, but I can assure I am sincere. My husband and I, like most parents, have subjugated our own desires in many ways to do our best to parent.

I do not believe that it would be right for me or for him to travel the world during this season of our lives. Others may be able to do so with aplomb, but we cannot.

There may be a time at which President Trump or some other president will call upon me to serve my country within his or her administration at a later season.

The left can relax for now, but who knows about another day? But know this, if it is ever God’s will for me to serve, nothing they can do or say will stop it.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.

Capitol Hill Brief — Broken Confirmation Process

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, Religious Liberty | No Comments

 

The rate of confirmations for President Trump’s judicial nominees leaves much to be desired. Senate leadership is doing everything it can to get the nominees through the process, but Democrats are using every tactic available to obstruct these well-qualified nominees.  Some have stoop so low as to object to a nominee’s Christian faith. Here is what Sen. Ted Cruz said at the press conference I participated last week:

[Audio Clip] Sen. Ted Cruz: We saw Prof. Barrett, a distinguished professor at Notre Dame, a respected academic, someone whose credentials are impeccable, grilled by Democratic senators, one Democratic senator demanding, “Are you an Orthodox Catholic?” … grilled not for their qualifications, not for their record, but for their faith.


Join us on the front lines. Call your senators now, and urge them to fill vacant judicial posts. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org to get your senators’ information today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

Shalane Flanagan: A Great Role Model for Women

By | Blog, Feminist / Women's Issues, News and Events | No Comments

Shalane Flanagan was virtually unknown outside of the elite running world until yesterday, when she won the New York City Marathon, the first American woman to do so in the women’s competition since the late 1970s. And she did it by running a minute faster than the second-place finisher, Kenyan Mary Keitany.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, a minute faster in the racing world is incredible. To beat an opponent by even 15 seconds is an eternity, but to beat a seasoned racer by an entire minute is almost unheard of today.

Flanagan is an interesting woman. She has won medals in the Olympics and set records at world competitions. She and her husband are foster parents as well, providing a home for teenaged twins. She also took time off after a back injury in late winter of last year and was unable to run the Boston Marathon.

She told ESPN in April that she was able to take her first vacation in seven years with her husband and foster children and that “when given lemons, you make lemonade — let’s celebrate the fact that I have time to do this with them. It’s one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken.”

As a wife, foster mother, and professional athlete, Flanagan realized she needed the time to heal and take a break from the insane pace of her life. It’s an example of listening to her body, listening to her family, and taking the steps to heal what needed to be healed, instead of continuing to recklessly put pressure on those aspects of life that needed rest. She is working for balance.

As women, we can take so much from Shalane Flanagan’s story, without any kind of political angle. She is a much-needed and welcome addition to the world of female role models. As a noncompetitive runner, I have had the thrill to observe the moment in a race in which we see the first “lady runners” sweep by us toward the finish line. It is a moment of great pride in which both men and women yell our affirmation.

As New York struggles to recover from the latest terror attack, the city once more rises with great dignity and goes about its life with aplomb. Flanagan is part of that healing. The rest of us are blessed to cheer her success with sustained applause and the shout of “GO Lady Runner!”

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.

Capitol Hill Brief — On Christian Dogma

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, Religious Liberty | No Comments

 

Last week, I stood up against the attacks on Judge Amy Barrett of the Seventh Circuit. She was shamefully attacked for her faith.  Here is a clip of what I said:

[Audio Clip] Penny Nance: The “Christian dogma” that a few find appalling embodies the best of humanity. It calls us to love others as we do ourselves, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, attend to the widow and the orphan, and to care for those in prison. It teaches us to be truthful, honorable, and content. It teaches us to respect governmental authority, and yes, it teaches judges to be impartial and love justice. These character traits should be celebrated in any judicial nominee, religious or not.


Join us on the front lines. Call your senators now, and urge them to fill vacant judicial posts. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org to get your senators’ information today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.

 

Capitol Hill Brief — Defending Amy Barrett

By | Blog, Capitol Hill Brief, Religious Liberty | No Comments

 

Last week, I was invited to speak on behalf of the Seventh Circuit Nominee and now-Judge Amy Barrett. I proudly stood alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and a number of other senators to decry the recent anti-Christian line of questioning that some liberal senators used against Judge Barrett. They blatantly suggested she could not be confirmed by the Senate because “the dogma lived loudly within her. Here is what I said at the press conference:

[Audio Clip] Penny Nance: For any senator who chooses to vote against Prof. Barrett, based on her religious beliefs, I would suggest that you can do that. But it says more about you than it says about her.


Join us on the front lines. Call your senators now, and urge them to fill vacant judicial posts. Visit www.CapitolHillBrief.org to get your senators’ information today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.