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Legislative Update for May 17, 2013

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Washington was rocked by a trifecta of scandal this week.


Scandals: The Finance Committee is gearing up to investigate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for unfairly targeting Tea Party and conservative groups.

For more details, click here to read CWALAC’s Senate Legislative Director’s blog, “Liars and Tyrants and Scares, Oh My!”

Nomination: Thursday, the nomination of Thomas E. Perez for Secretary of Labor came up in the Health, Education, Labor, & Pension (HELP) Committee and was passed out of committee on party lines.

Act Now: Thomas Perez nomination could come to the Senate floor as early as next week. Please call your senators, and urge them to oppose Thomas Perez. Your senators can be reached at (202) 224-3121.

For more details, click here to read CWALAC’s letter to the Senate HELP Committee.

Gosnell Resolution: Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked for unanimous consent (UC) on S. Res 133, his resolution to protect women and children from unsafe, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices. This was the second week Sen. Lee has attempted to get UC on his resolution. While on the floor, he said, “This has nothing to do with health care, or even with medical negligence, but with murder; a war on women and children waged under the guise of legitimate health care.”  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also spoke on the floor in support of Sen. Lee’s resolution. Like last week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) objected to Sen. Lee’s resolution and made a counteroffer, to which Sen. Lee objected. This leaves the issue well addressed, but leaves no real action for investigation into protecting women and children.

To read CWALAC’s press statement on Sen. Lee’s first attempt at getting unanimous consent on his resolution, click here.

Act Now: Please call and thank Sen. Lee (202-224-1168) and Sen. Cruz (202-224-5922) for highlighting the need to protect women and children from unsafe, unregulated, and illegal abortion practices.

U.S. Contributions to the United Nations (U.N.): CWALAC has supported Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) bill [S. 978], requiring the Office of Management and Budget to provide annual reports of all U.S contributions given to the U.N.


Repeal ObamaCare:  The House voted 229-195 to repeal ObamaCare.  Republicans were joined by only two Democrats on this vote, Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (North Carolina).  ObamaCare provides government funding for elective abortions, imposes further taxes on the very people who desperately need financial relief, and allows the government to exert immense control in the health care sector.  Government imposition in health care would result in bloated bureaucracies, as we have already seen with Medicare and Medicaid, budget shortfalls, denial of care, and erosion of quality.

Conscience Mandate: On Wednesday, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) participated in a “House call-in day” to urge representatives to ask leadership to include H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act on any must-pass legislation.  As you know, ObamaCare contains a mandate that bypasses our constitutionally protected rights, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and conscience laws by requiring Americans to subsidize abortion-inducing drugs, like ella and Plan B, as free “preventive services for women” in their health insurance plans.  The Obama Administration has provided an exemption only to houses of worship, creating a tiered system for religious freedom by deciding which Americans are “religious enough” to deserve an exemption  not at all what our Founding Fathers envisioned.  Religious liberties are an individual right!

Act Now: Please meet with your representative while he/she is in the district during the last week in May.  Ask them to let leadership know that this is a priority issue for them.  To find your representative, please click here.

No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion: Reps. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois) reintroduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions” bill, H.R. 7, this week.  This bill would prohibit public funding of abortion in all federal programs and would ensure that no federal funds would be used for elective abortions. It would also codify the Hyde and Helms amendments, which currently must be renewed every year, and would further protect the conscience clause for medical professionals and institutions found in the Hyde-Weldon amendment.  Please call your representative and ask him/her to cosponsor this bill.  To find your representative, please click here.

IRS Tax Scandal: On Thursday, CWALAC met with House leadership staff to discuss the IRS tax scandal.  Our purpose was to highlight the fact that the current political targeting is not a new, but rather a systemic problem at the IRS.  We will continue to work with the House Oversight and Ways and Means Committee as their investigations proceed.

Next Week: On Thursday, May 23, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice will hold a hearing on H.R. 1797, the “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”  In light of the atrocities committed by convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell, this legislation is particularly timely, since it prohibits any abortion from being conducted in the District of Columbia on unborn children 20 weeks post-fertilization age or later.  Right now, in our nation’s capital, abortions are permitted at any time throughout a woman’s pregnancy. Please call your representative and ask him/her to cosponsor this bill.  To find your representative, please click here.