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Tony Perkins / Mar. 5, 2021

Talk Is Cheat on Dems’ Election Reform

Democrats are scared. They think the only way they can hold onto power is to manipulate election laws.

The “For the People Act” — or, as it should be called, the Stick-It-to-The-People Act — is so bad that one Democrat was willing to risk the wrath of his party to stop it. Wednesday, to the surprise of his entire caucus, Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) did something the Left couldn’t believe: he listened to his district. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put a bill on the table that would strip away every election safeguard in the country, people thought Thompson’s vote was a sure thing. After all, he’d cosponsored the legislation. But when the time came to go down to the House floor, Bennie couldn’t do it. His constituents opposed parts of the bill, he said later. And they’re the ones he works for.

“I always listen and vote in the interest of my constituents,” Thompson told stunned reporters later. The only “no” vote in the whole Democratic Party, Thompson said it was hearing from the people that made up his mind. In the end, he decided to stand with them over Pelosi. Thompson, who has a lifetime score of six percent on FRC Action’s scorecard, isn’t exactly a conservative on life or family. But he is an example of political courage — and the kind of impact Americans can make when they get involved and make their voices heard.

Too often, I think we make the mistake that our congressmen aren’t listening. We look at the letter after their names and assume their minds are made up. And maybe they are. But if we aren’t contacting our leaders — if we aren’t speaking up — then we’re just as responsible for what’s happening in this country as Nancy Pelosi. This legislation is probably the single greatest attack on voting integrity that’s ever darkened Congress’s door. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was beside himself that the bill was even considered. “Every American should be OUTRAGED by this. Democrats just voted to ban voter ID nationwide and force every state to permanently expand mail-in voting.”

When you get right down to it, Democrats are scared. They think the only way they can hold onto power is to manipulate election laws. Deep down, they know that if our system is honest and open, liberal candidates and agendas would lose. That’s why they’re trying to institutionalize what happened in 2020 as quickly as they can. They’re terrified that this wave of election reforms will send them back to the minority. Pelosi basically said as much Wednesday. “At the same time as we are gathering here to honor our democracy, across the country over 200 bills are being put together, provisions they’re putting forward, to suppress the vote.”

In a backhanded compliment to the states, she and her party obviously feel very threatened by what’s happening right now in legislatures across the nation. They’re watching the surge of reforms spread like wildfire and panicking. Everyone heard as much on the House floor, when Pelosi went ballistic over Georgia’s new voter restrictions. She lashed out with surprising ferocity, slamming it as “draconian,” warning that it would “end weekend voting, slash the number of mail-in ballot drop boxes, impose restrictive voter ID for mail ballots, among other actions.” Their issues “are losers,” she said pathetically, “And that’s why they’re engaged.”

Actually, it’s the Democrats’ ideas that are losers. If they weren’t, Pelosi wouldn’t be worried about what legal voters had to say about them. The reality is, all most Americans have ever wanted is a fair and free vote. It’s pretty simple, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed out. “If [Democrats] want to hold onto power, they need to perform well, pass sound policies, and earn the support of voters again. [They] do not get to take their razor-thin majority — which voters just shrunk — and use it to steamroll states and localities to try and prevent themselves from losing even more seats next time.”

The bill has one goal: stopping the states from addressing the problems that were exposed in last November. It won’t make elections more secure. It will make them easier to manipulate. Congressman Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), like most Republicans, understands exactly what this is about. “This would lock in what happened in the last election. It’s a historically unprecedented power grab for total control over election processes.” And guess what? That’s not constitutional. “The states are the lab of democracy,” Bishop pointed out. They’re the ones the Founders trusted to oversee elections — in part to keep the power distributed and balanced across the government.

H.R. 1 would upend that. “They want to consolidate Democratic power so they can never be challenged again. [They want to] use the federal government to take all of that over… All of the things that make fraud easier, they are going to require, like forcing online, automated voter registration, same-day voter registration, where you can’t verify who the person is, no excuse mail-in ballots, and ballot harvesting.” One of the worst aspects, Bishop warns, is the federal funding of campaigns. “They’ll put $6 of taxpayers money into every campaign for every dollar raised in the campaigns. They’ll strip legislatures of their power to set districts and put that in the hands of bureaucrats everywhere. They’ll make [the FEC] a completely partisan body. It’s all these things that have been rejected by the majority of legislatures across the country. And they used the absurd title of being ‘for the people…’”

Right now, H.R. 1 is headed to a 50-50 Senate, where even a single vote can make all the difference. So what can you do? Simple: Take a page out of Mississippi’s 2nd District. Bennie Thompson didn’t vote against a bill he cosponsored because he wanted to. He voted against it because his constituents were too loud to ignore. “Write your legislators,” Dan urged. A lot is riding on what moderate Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) will do. “So I would write my two senators and Senator Manchin’s office and say, ‘Do not pass this law.’” And then, Dan went on, “I would turn to my state legislatures at the same time and say, ‘These bills that you’re pursuing are extremely important. Please spare no effort. We demand that the integrity of our elections be restored.’”

Originally published here.

COVID Relief or Abortion Bailout?

If only nine percent of the $1.9 trillion COVID bill fights the virus, then what on earth does the other 91 percent do? Well, for starters, Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) pointed out, it tears down the firewall between taxpayers and abortion. The Democrats’ priority isn’t getting money into the hands of people who treat life — they want to funnel billions to the abortionists who take it.

“If they [put] a bill in front of us that provided more money for getting the vaccines distributed more widely and faster, and some other assistance for direct COVID relief,” Cramer said on “Washington Watch,” “they’d get 100 votes in the Senate.” Now, they’ll be lucky to get 51. And a big reason why is just how aggressively the bill backs abortion. Forget the Hyde amendment, Cramer shook his head. “It’s gone. It’s just gone.” “Something that’s had bipartisan support for over 40 years — the ban on taxpayer-funded abortion — [it’s been stripped away]. And they’re so brazen in this bill that $414 billion dollars of their spending is not Hyde-protected. And they’re able to do that, because — again — [this is] the reconciliation process that only requires 50 senators to vote for it.”

In the House, the idea was so unpopular that almost every Republican cosponsored an amendment to block abortion funding. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) spoke passionately about this break with tradition, reminding Democrats that “all five of the previous COVID relief packages were bipartisan with the protections of the Hyde amendment.” This “relief package” is a dramatic departure from that truce — and a dangerous precedent to set in America.

Of course, the American people don’t realize this is happening because there hasn’t been a real debate on the bill! “Remember,” Cramer said, “there’s not been a single hearing on any of this. [This is a] $2 trillion dollar bill, [and there’s no] hearing, no discussion across party lines — at least no overt discussions across party lines. And when you don’t have hearings, you don’t have committee action… which means [everything is] away from the C-SPAN cameras and the media that covers these things. That’s why people don’t know. And it’s our job over the next couple of days — not just to stand up against this bill and not only to offer amendments — but expose the things that the people don’t know about that they didn’t learn in the House because the House doesn’t have as transparent a process as the Senate does…”

Biden, meanwhile, is holed up in the White House refusing to answer for his bill. He has yet to hold a single press conference — which is the longest any modern president has gone without talking to reporters. And Biden has one luxury Donald Trump never did: a friendly media. Too friendly, 46 percent of Americans think.

If his party doesn’t have the spine to tell Americans the truth about the bill, FRC will. It’s a bad deal for taxpayers, the economy, and especially the unborn. Check out why below.

Appropriates Millions of Dollars Not Subject to the Hyde Amendment

  • All four bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages passed in the 116th Congress included the Hyde amendment. This ensured the funds could not be used to pay for elective abortions or health plans that cover elective abortions.

  • The American Rescue Plan Act is the largest break from this precedent in 45 years. While Congress did appropriate federal funds through tax credits and reimbursements that subsidize health plans covering abortion as part of Obamacare in 2010, no money that can be used directly for abortions has been appropriated since the Hyde amendment was passed in 1976.

  • The American Rescue Plan Act would appropriate more than $400 billion with no Hyde protections. Therefore, these funds would be eligible to subsidize elective abortions.

  • The bill would allocate an additional $50 million for the Title X Family Planning Program. If President Biden is able to overturn the Protect Life Rule, which prohibits Title X funds from going to abortion providers, abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood would be eligible to receive these funds.

Sets Up New Funding for Abortion and Abortion Businesses Abroad

  • The American Rescue Plan Act breaks with 47 years of congressional precedent by appropriating over $700 million of global health funds not subject to the Helms amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion abroad.

  • According to a 2021 Knights of Columbus poll, 77 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion abroad, including 55 percent of Democrats.

  • The bill allocates $10 billion in foreign affairs funding not subject to the Silander amendment. This means these funds can be used to lobby for abortion overseas.

  • The International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, two of the largest foreign abortion organizations, could also receive millions of dollars of funding for contraception or HIV/Aids prevention.

Provides a Bailout for Pro-Abortion States

  • The American Rescue Plan Act contains nearly $350 billion for state and local governments, without any pro-life protections.

  • A state or locality could use the bailout funds to pay for abortions directly — all they would have to do is classify the abortions as part of their pandemic response.

  • It rewards large, liberal states (like California, Illinois, and New York) that use state funds to pay for abortions and subsidize Planned Parenthood, despite not having enough money in their budgets to cover pandemic-related expenses.

For more reasons to contact your senators, check out FRC’s resource on the plan’s abortion coverage.

Originally published here.

Al Robertson: A Beard’s Eye View of Intolerance

The Robertsons know a little bit about staring down the cancel culture — they did it before almost anyone else! Eight years ago, when liberals came after A&E over the Christian values on “Duck Dynasty,” the Left found out pretty quickly that it wasn’t a fight they should have picked. The Robertsons refused to back down — winning the respect of millions of Americans and becoming a symbol of courage in the entertainment world. Today, Al, Phil, and Jase are bringing that same honesty, humor, and Bible commentary to Blaze TV in their podcast, “Unashamed.” On Wednesday’s episode of “Pray, Vote, Stand,” Al talked about what his family learned from that tough time, and what advice he has for Christians in a hostile culture. Don’t miss our conversation.

Originally published here.

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

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