Tony Perkins / October 24, 2015

Obama Plays Veto Games With American Lives

For the first time ever, a President has vetoed funding for our military because of his desire to increase funding for domestic social program.

For the first time ever, a president has vetoed funding for our military because of his desire to increase funding for domestic social program. [Thursday], for only the fifth time in his presidency, President Obama used his veto pen, vetoing the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The measure provides funding and limited policy direction for the military. The NDAA was passed with bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate. In fact, in the Senate, the Defense spending bill passed with a veto-proof majority. In the House, while 270 congressmen voted for this important legislation, about 20 additional votes would be needed to override President Obama’s veto.

The president vetoed the measure because it provides for an additional $38 billion dollars in emergency defense spending beyond the sequestration caps put in place in 2013. The president said he would not approve more money for the military without increasing spending on domestic social programs. This latest action by the so-called commander in chief shows once again how the president continues to play political games at the expense of our national defense. From using our military for social engineering purposes; having homosexuals serve openly; pushing efforts to allow women on the front lines of combat; laying the ground work for transgender individuals to serve openly in the military in the coming months; to conditioning funding the United States military on increases in domestic spending and the closure of Guantanamo Bay, this president continues to put military lives and this nation in harm’s way in order to advance his liberal agenda.

Yet more evidence of President Obama’s political gamesmanship: Not only did President Obama veto the bill, but he made a spectacle of the veto, inviting reporters to photograph him as he signed the veto and making a rare public statement regarding the veto. It is time President Obama put partisan politics aside and elevate this nation’s security above his personal preferences.

Texas Officials Raid Planned Parenthood

[Friday], Texas officials served subpoenas to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Brownsville to determine if their employees are guilty of defrauding Texas’ Medicaid program and if Medicaid money was used to fund abortions. Texas employees were required to hand over thousands of documents, a move that the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’ vice president for community affairs, Sarah Wheat, said “was unprecedented.”

This comes several days after officials announced that Texas will remove Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program, in light of footage released by the Center for Medical Progress this summer directly implicating the Texas affiliate. The footage revealed a Gulf Coast Planned Parenthood affiliate with its offices in Houston may be involved in altering the abortion method to obtain intact fetal cadavers or to get intact baby organs. A top Planned Parenthood official there said that “splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.” Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr. cited the footage as well as a “prima facie case of fraud.” Governor Greg Abbott (R) said in a statement, “The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end.”

This is not the first time that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been in hot water. In 2013, it paid $4.3 million to settle allegations of Medicaid fraud. In 2012, Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director in Texas, filed a lawsuit against Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates alleging that they were fraudulently billing the Texas Women’s Health Program of more than $5.7 million by submitting almost 90,000 “repeated false, fraudulent, and ineligible claims for Medicaid reimbursements.” An Alliance Defending Freedom report reveals that this is happening at Planned Parenthood affiliates all over the nation.

[Friday] the U.S. House worked to follow Texas’s lead. It passed a budget reconciliation bill by 240 votes which would remove a huge pot of federal funding under Medicaid and other mandatory programs from Planned Parenthood. The Senate should follow suit. The House bill would also eliminate key elements of ObamaCare, which subsidizes abortion and forces people to purchase health plans in violation of their conscience. Republicans in the Senate now have the opportunity to work toward keeping their campaign promises that helped them secure the congressional majority. For our friends in the Senate who think the House bill is not strong enough, we encourage them to try and make the measure even better. The House leadership has said they will accept any improvements the Senate makes to the bill that will eliminate much of Planned Parenthood’s funding and remove the heart of ObamaCare.

Intimidation Goes Wide Left

Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, knows the rules of football and expects the referees to enforce them, not change the rules in the middle of the game. However, when it comes to Houston’s bathroom ordinance now on the ballot, McNair has seen the cultural elites try to rewrite the rules to ban him from exercising his right to be involved in the election process. Leftwing activists are expressing anger the NFL hasn’t removed him as a team owner — as a means to punish him for exercising his freedom to donate $ 10,000 to defeat an ordinance that allows a biological male to enter the women’s restrooms and other private areas if he identifies as a female. Sadly, the attacks took their toll on the team owner who finally succumbed to the pressure [Friday] and asked that his donation be returned. The demand that McNair surrender or else, exposes the truth that this debate is about a lot more than bathrooms — it’s about silencing and even stripping away the livelihood of those who decline to yield their beliefs to this new morality.

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away in Salt Lake City, Utah, we are witnessing the same kind of intimidation tactics from the Left. LGBT groups are demanding Utah Governor Gary Herbert cancel his plans next week to welcome the World Congress of Families, a global organization of pro-family lawmakers, scholars, and advocates. The Human Rights Campaign insisted the governor withdraw and asked why the governor would even be “in the same room” with those who advocate for natural marriage. In stark contrast to McNair, the governor shrugged off the critics by saying, “we invite diversity and different opinions to Utah.” The Left desperately wants to toss aside our nation’s history of allowing a free and open debate but they have two obstacles in their way: 1) First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and 2) there are millions of Americans who won’t be intimidated and will continue to stand for the freedom to believe, and to live according to those beliefs.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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