Right Opinion

GOP Gets With the Pro-Graham on Health Care

Tony Perkins · Sep. 19, 2017

Weeks after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pulled off a political stunner — blocking the GOP’s health care bill at the last second — Republicans refuse to say die. Over the summer recess of soul-searching, two senators put their heads together and hatched a new plan to try and make good on the party’s seven-year promise to rescue the country from Obama’s signature law.

Up against the Senate clock, which leaves two weeks for Republicans to work on a repeal, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) think they have the answer to the $3 trillion failure that’s destroying lives, spiking costs, and crushing freedom. Under their measure, which relies heavily on block grants, states would have the autonomy to design their own health care plans.

“One of the most interesting reforms in Graham-Cassidy,” Forbes explains, “is that, over time, it ends a significant bias in the Medicaid program toward wealthy states like California, Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland. Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and the states; on average, Washington foots about 60 percent of the bill. In theory, the federal government is supposed to foot higher proportions of the bill for poorer states; but because the minimum match is set to 50 percent, a number of very wealthy states receive a lot more money than they should.”

It would scrap Obamacare’s individual (and unconstitutional) insurance mandate, a lot of its burdensome taxes, and, most importantly, a major funding stream to Planned Parenthood. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is behind it, along with Donald Trump, who’s ramped up his involvement with personal calls and meetings. White House officials, who never gave up on Trump’s number-one priority despite months of fits and starts, say it’s “all hands on deck.”

With just two weeks to cycle the bill through the House and Senate, the GOP’s biggest enemy may be the calendar. And while a number of Republican senators are lining up behind the effort, leaders can only afford to lose two votes if they want to keep the push alive. That could be a tall order in a party that’s sometimes bullied by a handful of liberal Republicans like Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). As usual, they’re bucking the language to defund Planned Parenthood — which is non-negotiable, as House conservatives have made quite clear. In a joint statement with SBA List, FRC echoed their concerns, reminding senators:

The prior Congress passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and fund alternatives instead of Planned Parenthood that would have become law had it not been vetoed by President Obama, and now they have a commitment from President Trump to sign it. The pro-life majority controls both chambers of Congress and White House. The GOP is without excuse. We urge them to keep their promise and repeal Obamacare and end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood. Failure to keep their promise to voters will bring into question whether this Congress can truly be called the “pro-life Congress.” Rhetoric must be translated into verifiable action.

Senator Graham agrees, pointing out that conservatives are “not going to tolerate us just sitting around saying we did the best we could. One and done is not going to do it.” He’s right. In two weeks, the GOP will either end this war against the unborn — or be responsible for keeping it alive. Did the American people elect leaders who keep their word — or politicians who make empty promises to win? In 11 days, we’ll know.

Originally published here.

Feinstein Defends Religious Test, Until Her Dianne Day

Christianity is a “great religion” — just don’t bring it to work. That was Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s latest message for nominees like Amy Barrett, the president’s pick for an empty seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. After an embarrassing tirade about Barrett’s faith in her Judiciary hearing, Feinstein has been desperately trying to explain away her obvious prejudice toward men and women of faith. That PR offensive took another turn this weekend on CNN’s “State of the Union,” when the California Democrat tried to tamp down criticism in the wake of a national firestorm.

“This is a woman who has no real trial or court experience,” she argued. “And, therefore, there is no record. She’s a professor, which is fine, but all we have to look at are her writings, and in her writings, she makes some statements which are questionable, which deserve questions.” There’s a very real concern, she insisted, that believers like Barrett can’t be objective. (Much like liberal senators, apparently.)

The reality is, liberals have as many deep convictions as conservatives — they’re just not as often rooted in the Christian religion. So to suggest that they can be impartial and believers can’t is not only untrue, it’s unfair. Telling Barrett that the “dogma lives loudly within” her is to ignore the dogma that lives even louder within Senate Democrats.

But, Feinstein defended herself on CNN, “I’m a product of Catholic education. I sat in doctrine classes for four years for five days a week. I think Catholicism is a great religion,” she added quickly. “I have great respect for it. I’ve known many of the archbishops who have been in our community, we’ve had dinner together, we’ve spoken together over many, many decades, and I’ve tried to be helpful to the church whenever I could.”

Unfortunately, that doesn’t make her religious test – shared by fellow radicals Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) — any more excusable. Besides, Ed Morrissey asks, “Just how has Feinstein made herself ‘helpful to the church,’ anyway? She’s part of the cohort that insists on abortion on demand and enforcement of the HHS contraception mandate that forces organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor to either violate their religious principles or pay massive and ruinous fines to the government. With ‘help’ like that, the bishops could easily find better dining partners.”

The Wall Street Journal, like us, knows where the real dogma lives. And it isn’t in people like Barrett. “The ‘religious test’ Democrats want to impose isn’t about religion per se; it’s about ensuring that every religious claim can be bent to more comprehensive political aims. It’s about defining anyone who dissents from the mores of the sexual revolution as disqualified from public office. That’s what makes Ms. Feinstein’s questioning so chilling.”

Questions are one thing. Interrogations with the intent of maligning or discrediting a person are quite another. This historical record is quite clear; America was founded on faith predominately by people of faith. It’s time to stop the Sanders-Feinstein intolerant religious test. If you agree, sign our petition to the U.S. Senate.

Originally published here.

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

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