Gov’t Funding: On a Wing ANDA Prayer
With just a handful of days left of Democratic control, Christmas recess can’t come soon enough for most conservatives. But before the movers start clearing out the Senate Majority Leader’s office, there’s plenty left to do under the scaffolds of the Capitol dome. Priority number one is bankrolling the federal government for the next fiscal year – a testy process that just became ground zero in the battle over immigration reform. Reaching a consensus on the spending bills is difficult enough, but now that conservatives are willing to play hardball with government funding to make a statement on the President’s amnesty order, it’s anyone’s guess how (or when) the lame duck session will end.
With just a handful of days left of Democratic control, Christmas recess can’t come soon enough for most conservatives. But before the movers start clearing out the Senate Majority Leader’s office, there’s plenty left to do under the scaffolds of the Capitol dome. Priority number one is bankrolling the federal government for the next fiscal year – a testy process that just became ground zero in the battle over immigration reform.
Reaching a consensus on the spending bills is difficult enough, but now that conservatives are willing to play hardball with government funding to make a statement on the President’s amnesty order, it’s anyone’s guess how (or when) the lame duck session will end.
Today, the House took its first crack at the White House’s decision to exempt as many as five million people from the consequences of breaking U.S. immigration law. Under a bill from Florida Congressman Ted Yoho ®, members sent their first shot across the bow at the President’s gross overreach and voted 219-197 to roll back the Obama policy that 17 states are now suing over. Yoho’s H.R. 5759 takes direct aim at the executive order, insisting that “no provision of the Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act, or other federal law shall be interpreted or applied to authorize the executive branch of the government to exempt, by executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of persons unlawfully present in the United States from removal under the immigration laws.”
Like most Americans (a majority of whom disapprove of the President’s order), Yoho was fired up about the White House’s audacity. “Allowing amnesty to illegal immigrants is an insult to the millions of Americans who stood in line and came to this country legally,” he wrote. “They worked hard, followed the law, and earned their citizenship. That is the very essence of the American dream. If you work hard and play by the rules, you will find success.”
Of course, playing by the rules has never been this administration’s strong suit – which may be why the country’s approval of his idea “is at its lowest level ever measured,” Quinnipiac reports. Only 48% of Americans believe illegal immigrants “should be allowed to stay” – down nine points since last November.
While it would take a Christmas miracle for the Senate to take up Yoho’s measure, it’s still important from a messaging standpoint. The GOP can do the rest of its talking through the budget process. For now, it looks like a surprising number of Democrats may be on board with the two-track “cromnibus” (continuing resolution plus omnibus) that would send all of the appropriations bills to the floor except Homeland Security’s (which would finance the President’s lawless order). Even outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is on board with the idea, along with far-Left Democrats like Jim Moran (D-Va.). “The fact that Homeland Security would be delayed, frankly, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not the end of the world,” Moran said. Maybe Democrats are finally waking up to the fact that they won’t have this same budget leverage next year when the Chairmanships change hands.
Either way, conservatives are hopeful that this same spirit of cooperation translates to the inclusion of standard pro-life riders in annual spending bills. For groups like FRC, the omnibus is key, because it’s one of the few ways to force a vote on important policies like the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA).
As we explained earlier this week, Californians are steaming over an August rule that orders every state insurance plan to cover abortion. And that means religious schools, organizations, and even churches have virtually no choice but to buy health care plans that violate their conscience. Under ANDA, Californians would finally have the legal grounds they need to sue the state for their conscience rights. Fortunately, Congressmen like Tim Huelskamp (R-Kans.) are ready to go to the mat to fight for the inclusion of policies like ANDA. You can help. Contact your representative and ask them to make ANDA a priority in any must-pass legislation!
Babies ‘R’ U.S.?
It’s not just winter in America, it’s demographic winter. The baby boom has given way to a baby bust – as fertility rates fall through floor in a country that hasn’t exactly been thriving economically. At the beginning of the Obama administration, the recession may have been the most effective form of birth control of all, as more Americans held off having children to save money.
“Economists say the recession ended in 2009, but nobody told American women,” Kenneth Johnson explained as news of fewer U.S. births hit the wires. Amazingly, the fertility rate ticked down to its lowest level last year, with just 62.5 births for every 1,000 women of child bearing age.
Of course, it’s no coincidence that as the fertility rate drops, the poverty rate skyrockets. As FRC’s research bears out, the intact married family is the most powerful economic engine there is. But lately, as our own Dr. Henry Potrykus found, there’s been an erosion of the openness to children – which is driven by at least two things: the radical sexual revolution we’re experiencing and government policies that deemphasize family and increase dependency. In a country where abortion, welfare programs, and marriage tax penalties take the incentive out of family-formation, most couples are either putting off marriage and children – or forgoing them all together.
Right now, the median age for first marriages is higher than it’s ever been, and instead of making it easier for people to marry, Washington is saddling couples with extra financial burdens. AsFRC’s Pat Fagan points out, that doesn’t help the economy – it hurts it. Marriage is the biggest producer of human capital in the world, and when the government encourages non-married and fewer child-centered families, it undermines the economy. “Married families are the essential contributors to the wealth generation. Their income and savings immediately translate into revenue for government and capital for the economy…”
We can’t wait for the economy to get better to focus on the family, we need to focus on the family to get the economy healthy. The world is on the verge of reaping the long-term consequences of the mentality that children are a drain on our resources rather than a blessing from the Lord. Just look at Scripture. Nowhere in it does God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” have an expiration date. As Americans, we should be extremely cautious in embracing the radical ideas that contradict the Christian principles Western civilization was founded upon.
Stocks in Our Stocking!
A number of friends of FRC have recently decided that nothing fits better in FRC’s Christmas stocking than an appreciated stock gift. Family Research Council has remained proven, positioned and prepared to accomplish our mission: to advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.
But we can only stand strong with help from you. FRC is prepared to receive your stock transfers today. It’s an easy way to make a much needed donation that’s also easy on the pocketbook. The benefit of donating appreciated stock is a win-win for those who are able. When the market is up, this creative giving idea presents a wonderful opportunity to give out of your appreciated assets without impacting your Christmas cash.
Click here for more information on taking advantage of this timely opportunity. All of the necessary information is listed here for you and your broker. Stock gifts received by December 31st will be a vital part of the FRC team’s ability to impact our nation for things that are right and good, as well as a possible tax benefit for you and your family. We’re all stronger when we stand – together!
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.
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