Category

Senate Legislative Updates

Weekly Update for June 9, 2018 from CWA’s Legislative Department

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Senate Legislative Updates | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – This week amplified the call to defund Planned Parenthood with shocking new evidence of how abortion clinics have engaged in aiding abusers and intimidating employees from not reporting client sexual abuse. Live Action’s report, Aiding Abusers:  Planned Parenthood’s Cover-up of Child Sexual Abuse, compiles court cases, reports from state health departments, testimonies from former employees, and interviews with survivors to uncover Planned Parenthood’s culture of complicity and unwritten “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.   For example, documented cases have involved girls as young as 12 and 13 years old whose perpetrators, including their own fathers, forced them to abort their pregnancies.  Planned Parenthood did not report the abuse to authorities as required by law and then sent these wounded girls out the door with their abusers.

This unconscionable track record is why the Trump Administration’s proposed Protect Life Rule includes a provision requiring any recipient of Title X family planning funds to comply with all state and local laws on reporting child sexual abuse, molestation, incest, rape, intimate partner violence and human trafficking.

On Thursday, 56 pro-life Senators called on the Trump Administration to investigate Planned Parenthood’s failure to report suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care through the Title X program.  In a letter to HHS Secretary Azar, Senators request all records of incidents of failure to report abuse, documentation of consequences, and data from the past decade of how many children below the age of consent were served and how many reports of abuse were made.

These developments further the importance for every member of CWA to go to our website’s special page, ConcernedWomen.org/ProtectLifeRule, and submit a comment supporting all provisions of the Administration’s proposed Protect Life Rule.  We have a unique opportunity to speak loudly for those who cannot speak for themselves, to protect life and those who give life, to thank this Administration for standing on the side of life and against abortion and abuse.   Please comment today!

Another Hard-fought Victory This Week – Sex Trafficking

By | Blog, House Legislative Updates, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Senate Legislative Updates, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

This week the House passed a sex trafficking bill (H.R. 1865) that would allow state attorneys general and victims to sue websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. This bill was created to target sites like Backpage.com, which is currently under Senate investigation because of the hosting of ads that promoted the trafficking of minors. The legislation passed changes Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which the first circuit ruled shields websites from lawsuits over user-generated content.

This bill was a fight from the very beginning. Fortunately, human trafficking is a big issue nationally, and generally, everyone agrees it is a horrid practice that must be stopped. However, this issue has a lot of money surrounding it, and that means there are a lot of anti-sex trafficking groups with a lot of opinions about how this type of legislation should be handled. This issue also touched the bipartisan golden child of Congress: the tech industry. Democrat and Republican leadership are both heavily funded by the tech industry, and, unfortunately, they hated this bill when it was originally introduced, so we had our work cut out for us.

CWA worked with Rep. Ann Wagner’s (R-Missouri) office almost weekly for a year, meeting and strategizing how to get people in D.C. on board with something for which states were asking. The original bill was altered several times to appease not only the trafficking groups, but also was altered per DOJ’s request. When it passed, it was supported by all 50 state attorneys general. The final bill is a reflection of what should happen in Washington. Everyone: groups, congressional Democrats and Republicans, and the administration, worked together (eventually, not everyone was on board initially) to make a stronger and better piece of legislation.

We were not happy with the Senate counterpart for the House bill. It is what I would refer to as a “pat ourselves on the back” bill; it seems like it is accomplishing something, and it sounds really good, but ultimately it was not as strong as the House bill, and we had major concerns. Unfortunately, we were one of the few who did have major concerns with only the Senate language, and many sex trafficking groups loved the Senate language, but we vocalized those concerns and worked with Rep. Wagner’s office to educate members and leadership on why the House bill is better.

H.R. 1865 passed the U.S. House by a vote of 388-25.   The Senate will take up the House-passed bill the week of March 12.  Congratulations to Rep. Wagner who led the charge on the passage of this bill.  CWA worked long and hard on this legislation.  We look forward to seeing it through to passage in the Senate, also.

 

CWA on the front lines of pro-family tax reform

By | Blog, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Senate Legislative Updates, Uncategorized | No Comments

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is encouraged by the tax reform proposals set forth by the Trump Administration. As the framework continues to be filled out, CWALAC is working tirelessly to more than double the Child Tax Credit. We believe tax reform should be pro-family, in addition to pro-growth.

We are working closely with Ivanka Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), as well as other organizations from varying backgrounds — all united in the belief that pro-family tax reform is an investment in America’s future.

Linked is a joint statement CWALAC signed outlining specifics for enhancing the Child Tax Credit.

We are proud to be at the tip of the spear promoting pro-family tax reform.

 

Graham-Cassidy Bill: Last Chance for Health Care Reform

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life, Senate Legislative Updates, Uncategorized | No Comments

Washington, D.C. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) as well as Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) have teamed up and introduced a bill that gives power over health care decisions back to the states and the American people. The Graham-Cassidy health care bill is the Senate’s last chance to pass health care reform with a simple majority vote through the reconciliation process in 2017. The Senate has a hard deadline of September 30.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America issued the following statement in response:

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is proud to support the Graham-Cassidy health care bill. It is time to make good on the promise made to the American people to end ObamaCare.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for health care. Sens. Graham and Cassidy have provided a bill that gives power back to the states.

“Improving health care means protecting life at all stages, and Graham-Cassidy does just that. This legislation ensures that no funds within the bill will be, or can be, used to subsidize plans that provide abortion coverage &emdash; something every other bill has failed to address. Most importantly, it redirects Medicaid funds away from Planned Parenthood and gives them to federally qualified health centers which provide care for the whole woman.

“All the funds provided through this legislation will go through CHIP (Child Health Insurance Programs) &emdash; a bipartisan effort to ensure underprivileged children are able to receive healthcare. It is time to give Americans real care instead of “insurance” that is not worth the plastic on which it is printed.

“While it may not solve every problem plaguing the American health care and insurance industry, Graham-Cassidy is a vast improvement over the status quo, providing momentum that enables other issues to be addressed.

“The American people have been waiting eight years to be given back their right to make their own health care choices.

“Now is the time to make good on the promise made to the American people.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Senate Legislative Update for September 12, 2014

By | News and Events, Senate Legislative Updates | No Comments

With only two weeks left before the Senate goes out of session for the month of October, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has decided to waste time – time that could be spent working on funding our government. Instead, Reid chose to focus the bulk of the week highlighting a measure that would restrict the First Amendment to the Constitution.

This theoretical approach is just that, wasting time to put on a show in hopes of sending a message to the American people on the 2010 Citizens United decision – a decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government cannot keep corporations from spending money in elections.

So, with little likelihood of passing, Leader Reid continues his vendetta against campaign spending at the expense of productivity.

The Senate is also rehashing the Paycheck Fairness bill that the chamber voted down in April.

To view CWA’s letter of opposition on Paycheck Fairness, click here.

Senate Legislative Update for August 1, 2014

By | Senate Legislative Updates | No Comments

The Senate was busy this week closing out legislative items before leaving for the August recess.

Israel Resolution: On Tuesday, the Senate passed a resolution supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against the terrorist group Hamas. It also condemned the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that called for an investigation into potential human rights violations by Israel.

This resolution was passed through by Unanimous Consent.

Iron Dome Funding: On Friday, the Senate approved an emergency measure to fund Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. The additional $225 million will assist Israel in defending itself and its people against the missile attacks launched by the terrorist group Hamas.

Israel’s objective since the start of this conflict has been to restore peace and security for the people of Israel. CWALAC is pleased that the United States Senate has helped get supportive legislation through during Israel’s time of need.

United State-Israel Strategic Partnership Act: CWALAC was disappointed that the Senate did not pass the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act before it left for its five-week summer recess. Now more than ever, the world needs to hear America’s support for Israel.

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) reintroduced this bill on July 28 with 80 cosponsors. The legislation, if passed, would declare that Israel is a “major strategic partner” of the United States.

Action: Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support this legislation. If your senator is already a cosponsor (click here to see), please thank them for their support.

Senate Legislative Update for July 25, 2014

By | Senate Legislative Updates | No Comments

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed this treaty by a vote of 12-6.

It is likely that the Senate will bring this United Nations treaty to the floor for a vote in September.

To read CWALAC’s letter on the CRPD, click here.

Action: Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and ask them to vote against ratification of the CRPD if it comes to the Senate floor.

Nomination of Pamela Harris: On Monday, the chamber confirmed, by a vote of 50-43, Pamela Harris to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. This is a nominee who CWALAC opposed due to her extreme liberal ideologies on life and partial-birth abortion.

To read CWALAC’s letter that was sent to the Senate, click here.

Senate Legislative Update for July 18, 2014

By | Senate Legislative Updates | No Comments

Anti-Religious Liberty Vote: This week, Senate Democrats tried to pass an anti-religious liberty bill that would restrict American’s First Amendment rights like never before. 60-votes were needed in a crucial procedural vote. If passed, S.2578 would have trumped the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. Members stopped this by a vote of 56-43.

CWALAC sent a letter to the Senate urging them not to pass this extreme measure. To read CWALAC letter, click here.

Women’s Health Protection Act: The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Connecticut) bill, the “Women’s Health Protection Act.” This bill, if passed, would override nearly all federal and state laws restricting abortion, including late-term bans.

To read the letter CWALAC sent to the Senate, click here.

Israel Resolution: Thursday night, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, S.Res.498. This resolution supported Israel’s right to defend itself against current rocket attacks by the terrorist group, Hamas. It also called for President Abbas to break his recent unification with the terrorist group.