Legislative Update for February 22, 2013

By February 22, 2013Legislative Updates
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Both chambers where in a weeklong recess for Presidents Day this week and will return on Monday, February 25.


The House was not in session this week.Next week begins a four-week stretch for the House before the Easter recess.We have heard that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will likely be brought to the floor next week.


The House intends to bring up the Senate bill and substitute its own language, which fixes a few glaring problems in the Senate bill by removing the lesbian, “gay,” bisexual, transgender (LGBT) language, closing the loophole for immigration visas, and addressing the “tribal sovereignty” issues by ensuring that Americans retain the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

Even though the bill has a nice sounding name, VAWA continues to be pork for the feminist ideology rather than a bill that truly helps battered women.And the House, to avoid bruising political hits, will not address those issues.Regrettably, the House will not include the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Act (SAFER).The SAFER Act will address actual violence against women by helping law enforcement process the backlog of rape kits and put rapists behind bars.

Call your representative and urge him/her to oppose the feminist pork-laden VAWA bill, because it does not address actual violence and replace it with legislation that will address actual violence.At a minimum, let your representative know that the glaring problems in the Senate bill must be addressed.Ask him/her to urge leadership to place the SAFER Act on the suspension calendar since this legislation passed unanimously last Congress.The SAFER Act will address real violence against women by putting more rapists in jail.

Conscience Mandate:

On February 2, the Obama Administration clarified its position on the rule forcing Americans to subsidize abortion-inducing drugs as preventive care.And, again, this clarification did absolutely nothing to protect those of us who have religious or moral objections to it.

The clarification indicates that the only entities entitled to religious liberties are churches, synagogues, temples, and, now, their affiliates.  The new rules do not offer any exemptions for private business to exercise their religious liberties by refusing to include contraceptive coverage.  That means businesses like Hobby Lobby will remain subject to the mandate.

Since the Obama Administration has failed to recognize our religious liberties, it is time for Congress to act.Please call your representative, as part of a national call week beginning February 25, and urge him/her to ask Leadership to include the conscience protections contained in the Respect forRights of Conscience Act and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act in any must-pass legislation (like the Continuing Resolution).


Nomination: The Senate is set to continue with the nomination of former-Sen. Chuck Hagel on Tuesday, February 26. At that time, there will be a second vote on the motion to proceed (the first of which failed on Thursday, February 14) to Hagel’s nomination. Once the Senate has obtained the 60 votes needed to continue, they will then need only 50 votes to confirm Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

It is imperative that your senators hear from you! Chuck Hagel is not qualified to be the civilian head of the military. With Hagel’s inconsistent testimony during his Senate confirmation hearing and his lack of understanding regarding the global threats facing America (shown in multiple speeches over the past two decades), this nomination makes American families vulnerable and puts our national security at serious risk.

Act Now: Call your senators and urge them to vote against any vote taken on former-Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination. To find your senators, click here.

Also, click here to read CWALAC CEO and President Penny Nance’s op-ed on why former-Sen. Chuck Hagel is not the right man for the job.