Tony Perkins / January 8, 2016

Congress’s Role in Repeal: Won and Done

President Obama could never undo his pro-abortion legacy — but this week, Congress is giving him an opportunity to try. In perhaps one of the single greatest accomplishments of the last seven years, Republicans managed their first-ever, dual-chamber rebuke of Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare. After more than 60 tries, Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) party celebrated the victory at a special signing ceremony of the Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Act this afternoon.

President Obama could never undo his pro-abortion legacy — but this week, Congress is giving him an opportunity to try. In perhaps one of the single greatest accomplishments of the last seven years, Republicans managed their first-ever, dual-chamber rebuke of Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare. After more than 60 tries, Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) party celebrated the victory at a special signing ceremony of the Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Act this afternoon.

Fulfilling a promise they’d made to voters, the bill is headed straight for the president’s desk — a maiden voyage for any measure gutting his disaster of a health care law. By a 240-181 vote, the House finally advanced the mission the Americans elected them for: defunding the nation’s biggest abortion group and gutting an unsustainable — and, more importantly, unconscionable — law. For once, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said, the president will be forced to “choose whether to stand with the American people or behind his failures.”

Wednesday’s win was also a long time coming for pro-lifers, who watched with revulsion every David Daleiden video detailing the horrors of Cecile Richards’s group. For once, the moral injustice done to taxpayers has a voice: Congress’s. “We will not back down from this fight to defend the sanctity of life,” Speaker Ryan insisted, “and make quality health care coverage achievable for all Americans.” Barring a major miracle, the president is determined to veto the measure — even if means the moral weight of both travesties will rest squarely on his shoulders.

But that doesn’t mean the vote was for naught. On the contrary, this was one of the most important statements Republicans could make. For starters, it shows they were listening to the American people and did what they vowed to, despite whatever differences they may have had. Even more significantly, they blazed a trail for moving this kind of legislation forward when America finally has a president who understands the value of every person, born and unborn. Thanks to this precedent, the next time a bill defunding Planned Parenthood hits a pro-life president’s desk, it’s game-over for taxpayer-funding of Richards’s group.

Of course, liberals decried the vote, claiming that 22 million Americans would be without health care if the president signed it. That’s ironic, the experts at Townhall point out, since “a recent Gallup survey showed that uninsured Americans — who still number in the tens of millions — are most likely to disapprove of the so-called ‘Affordable’ Care Act, largely because they can’t afford it.” Unfortunately, not all of the Democrats’ objections were as entertaining as Rep. Jackie Speier’s (Calif.), who compared the vote to “a giant plate of nachos.” And while no one’s quite sure who should be more insulted — the nachos or ObamaCare — she obviously had a chip on her shoulder. There was the usual phony panic from Planned Parenthood, which insisted that if Congress didn’t send them their usual half-billion taxpayer dollars, women’s health care would cease to exist. (What they didn’t mention is that the money would be redirected to thousands of local health clinics that don’t happen to be under criminal investigation.)

And based on this week’s news, most Americans are scratching their heads over what Richards’s group needs the money for. Already, the organization’s PAC is pledging to spend more than $20 million on the election (and that’s not counting Planned Parenthood proper, which copped to sinking $39.3 million in “political advocacy” in just one year)! Not to mention that their biggest moneymaker — abortion — continues to rake in tens of millions of dollars, especially given the 323,999 they performed last year.

The bottom line is the bottom line: Planned Parenthood doesn’t need taxpayer dollars. All the government’s contributions do is enable Richards to spend more money on politics and candidates who support their radical agenda. This forced partnership must end. And thanks to House leadership, like Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Tom Price (R-Ga.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), John Fleming (R-La.), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), America is well on its way to achieving it.

Originally published here.

From the IRS, Clarity on Charity

Common sense isn’t exactly a common theme at the IRS. But the year is off to a surprisingly good start at Americans’ least favorite agency now that officials have put the kibosh on a ridiculous charitable donation idea. Early last month, we told you about a worrisome new proposal from the IRS that would give 501(c)(3) organizations (like FRC) “the option” of doing away with their written acknowledgements of donations over $250 and consider sending all of their donors’ personal information to the agency instead.

For several reasons — not the least of which is the IRS’s horrible track record of data leaks and political harassment — nonprofits of all stripes strenuously objected, arguing that it wouldn’t be long until this “optional system” became mandatory. As it stands, groups like FRC don’t ask for — nor do they need — donors’ Social Security information to process gifts. If they were forced to, it would significantly raise the cost of securing that data. More importantly, it would scare away potential donors, who (naturally) doubt the government’s reliability when it comes to safeguarding their personal details. And even if both sides could be trusted, the system itself is rife for abuse.

After more than 38,000 public comments — some of them yours! — the IRS announced [Thursday] that it was dropping the idea entirely. More than 200 charitable groups weighed in against the proposal, which would have discouraged people from giving. “The Treasury Department and IRS received a substantial number of public comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking,” it wrote in the Federal Register. “Accordingly, the notice … is being withdrawn.” Our thanks to all of you who chimed in! While we may not feel like it, the government still responds when citizens are engaged.

Originally published here.

Hail to the Chief… Justice

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is used to being in headlines — but Wednesday’s weren’t exactly accurate ones. Like several of the country’s clerks and judges, Roy Moore made no secret of where he stands on same-sex marriage — and he’s fought it with every judicial tool at his disposal. And while some have accused him of defying the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage, the reality is that Moore is simply holding out until an official decision is reached in his state.

Most people are probably wondering: Didn’t the Supreme Court already make that determination for Alabama in Obergefell? The answer is yes and no. Last spring, before five justices decided to rewrite thousands of years of natural law, the Alabama Supreme Court had upheld the state’s marriage amendment. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, there’s some confusion as to what the state’s decision means in light of that. Right now, the Alabama Supreme Court is currently considering the impact of Obergefell on its ruling last March.

Until it rules, Chief Justice Moore is telling probate judges to continue to follow his administrative order from last March: “Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”

To be clear, this is an administrative order — not a ruling on the merits. All it does is simply reaffirm Moore’s position while the Alabama Supreme Court deliberates. The media, however, seized on the memo to probate judges as proof that Justice Moore is somehow rebelling against the courts. In reality, he’s simply doing what he can to delay the process and force others to act — instead of willfully allowing same-sex “marriage” in Alabama on his watch. Nothing that Justice Moore has done is outside of his authority or the boundaries of his role. Until the state supreme court rules (and there’s little doubt as to how they will), no outcome from the high court is final. In the meantime, we applaud Justice Moore for morally and constitutionally opposing an unjust ruling — and ensuring that the state’s process is followed before the redefinition of marriage is unleashed there.

Originally published here.

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