Category Archives: Congress

RFRAs have NEVER Harmed a Homosexual Person

By Casey Mattox
The Federalist

It has been 22 years since President Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. For two decades it has applied to every law in the District of Columbia and the federal government. In the intervening decades, 20 other states have followed suit with their own state RFRAs. These RFRAs hold government to a high burden of proof when it burdens religious exercise. Under RFRA, there are no guaranteed outcomes, but the government cannot take burdens on religious exercise lightly.

In two decades of RFRAs, the world has not ended. In fact, not a single person who identifies as homosexual has been harmed by these RFRAs. None. This may come as a surprise to you if you have watched any of the media coverage or been on social media for the last several days. The unhinged claims from the Left have been entirely detached from the reality that these laws have actually existed for decades and have never resulted in any of the things they worry will happen. This is not new. Dire warnings that are unsurprisingly not confirmed by future events have been a common theme in arguments from the Left in recent years.

Prophesying Doom that Never Materializes

The Equal Access Act is the reason your child can have a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at school. Most Americans would think that permitting students to voluntarily get together before school to pray is a good thing. But when Congress considered the act in 1984, some Democrats, including then-Rep. Barbara Boxer, opposed it because allowing Christian students to gather to pray “could usher in KKK and Nazi” student groups. More than 30 years later, it is clear Boxer was on the wrong side of history. Her worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to “Mein Kampf” has not been realized.

Boxer’s worry that letting kids study the Bible would lead to ‘Mein Kampf’ has not been realized.

When the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2006, abortionists argued that approximately 2,200 partial-birth abortions per year were necessary for health reasons. This was important because the law lacked any health exception (except to save the mother’s life). When the Supreme Court issued its opinion eight years ago in April 2007, it held that the law was generally constitutional.

However, the Court invited any abortionist or woman filing a new challenge to show why a partial-birth abortion was necessary in one of those 2,200-per-year instances. Planned Parenthood warned of consequences for women’s health from the decision, just as Justice Ginsburg wrote in a dissent: “One may anticipate that such a preenforcement challenge will be mounted swiftly, to ward off serious, sometimes irremediable harm, to women whose health would be endangered by the intact D&E prohibition.”

Eight years later, no such complaint has been filed. I’m not aware of a single example of any woman who was harmed by not being able to have a partial-birth abortion procedure in that time.

There are three possible reasons: (1) by incredible fortune, the threats to women’s health making partial-birth abortion necessary ceased on April 18, 2007; (2) Women are harmed daily, but Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry lack the resources to file the invited lawsuits; (3) the claim that partial-birth abortion was necessary to protect women’s health was a lie.

Finally, when Texas passed HB2, the pro-life law that brought stardom to Wendy Davis, a primary focus of abortion supporters who opposed the bill was its prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks gestation, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. This provision was the centerpiece of the controversy, and Davis opposed it at length. But while virtually every part of the Texas law has been challenged in the intervening two years, the prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks has never been challenged. It has been Texas law since October 2013.

Time to Stop Listening

And Texas isn’t alone. Laws like it have been enacted in 13 states. But despite their cries of harm to women’s health, abortionists have only challenged these laws in the Ninth Circuit and in a now-pending Georgia state court case. At least 10 of these laws, including Texas’s, are in effect without legal challenge. As MSNBC reported, there is

a strategic reason to avoid challenging that [20-week] ban…. [A] Texas challenge would go to the conservative Fifth Circuit. Not only would that court potentially uphold the law…, the combination of decisions would create a split in the circuits that would make the Supreme Court likelier to hear it.

This is their choice. But at some point when your warnings of imminent harm are stifled by your own prudential choices, and none of the bad consequences you warn about ever happen, perhaps your claims just aren’t true. That’s critically important to keep in mind with the needless hysteria happening now over completely mischaracterized state religious freedom laws.

But history need not repeat itself. In the children’s story, when Peter repeatedly cries, “Wolf!” the townspeople finally stop listening. It’s time to stop giving credence to the Left’s cries.

McCain Running again and the People Groan

Multiple conservative groups rebelled right out of the gate to Senator John McCain’s announcement that he will indeed seek re-election in what is expected to be a historic 2016 election cycle.

Within hours of McCain’s announcement both Conservative Review and the Senate Conservatives Fund had emailed to rally supporters against McCain. The messages pointed out McCain’s record and weakened position. Senate Conservatives Fund called for a strong show of support to oust a weakened McCain and elect a fresh face to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Conservative Review grants McCain an “F” with a 48 percent rating, calling out McCain for an extensive 32-year entrenchment in Washington. CR Editor Gaston Mooney said, “McCain’s consistent support for gun control, cap and trade, amnesty, and tax increases have put him at odds with just about every coalition inside the Republican Party and recent straw polls have shown that he is vulnerable. McCain pandered to the right in 2008 and now he is at it again.”

“There are few Republicans who have betrayed our conservative principles more than John McCain,” read the Senate Conservatives Fund letter. “McCain lost his way a long time ago.”

Both messages criticize McCain for his part in the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform and his support for amnesty, his vote for the taxpayer funded “Wall Street” bailout, his vote to fund implementation of Obamacare and criticism of efforts to halt that funding, opposition to a $1.3 trillion tax cut, support for a $600 billion tax hike, repeated votes to raise the debt limit and voting against term limits.

Mincing no words, the Senate Conservatives letter refers to McCain as “one of the most anti-conservative RINOs in the Senate.”

Senate Conservatives Fund is asking those supportive of a McCain alternative to put their money where their mouth is with a financial contribution and signature on their “Replace John McCain” in 2016 petition.

The grass roots, urges the letter, “is asking for our help,” citing polling that says 98 percent want a conservative alternative to McCain.

“To replace John McCain, we need to get hundreds of thousands of patriots united and working together. The Republican establishment in Washington will pour millions of dollars into this race to save him.”

According to FEC records, the Friends of John McCain campaign committee held $2 million in cash on hand at the end of 2014. Almost $1.2 million of that came from 2008 presidential campaign committee funds transferred in 2013, in addition to $1.3 million in individual contributions. It comes as no surprise that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is supportive of McCain as the “Friends of John McCain” committeetransferred $265,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2014 and late 2013.

Cong. Franks: The Buck Stops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

028_29Arizona Congressman Trent Franks responds to President Obama’s first visit to meet with veterans following the Phoenix VA scandal:

“President Lincoln explained that the role of government in caring for veterans is “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”  Unfortunately, the Phoenix VA is ground zero for the tragic failures of bloated, big government bureaucracies. It is demonstrative of the chaos of government empowering itself with the care of our veterans rather than empowering the veteran herself or himself.

“I fear that the mismanagement and lack-of-care provided to our veterans in Phoenix and around the country will be a microcosm of what we can expect from Obamacare, which puts government in control of healthcare, rather than the doctor and the patient.

“Last year Congress attempted to empower veterans by passing sweeping legislation that would provide better access to quality care. Unfortunately, failure by the executive to implement these changes only allowed access to relatively few.

“When it comes to serving those who have served us all with honor and distinction, the buck stops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  I am encouraged that President Obama has finally decided to visit the Phoenix VA Hospital to hear about the travesties that took place there.  It is my hope that he personally invests himself to ensure that what took place here never happens again.”

Squishy Republicans Scuttle Congressman Franks’ Fetal Pain Bill

By Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

The streets of Washington were warming up just as pro-life action was heating up inside Congress! Late Wednesday, a handful of Republicans managed to derail an effort that had been underway for months on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — stalling a bill that pro-lifers had hoped to celebrate during today’s March for Life.

After meeting all day with conservatives, House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions (R-Texas) made the reluctant decision to pull the pain ban and replace it with another pro-life measure, H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, which is another one of FRC’s top priorities.

The plan had been to move Rep. Trent Franks’s (R-Ariz.) five-month abortion limit first and then turn off the spigot for federal dollars for abortion next. Unfortunately, that plan was spoiled — not by liberal Democrats, but so-called pro-life Republican women like Renee Ellmers (N.C.) and Jackie Walorski (Ind.). Both had previously voted for the measure but last week began organizing opposition to the rape and incest reporting requirements, which were a part of the compromise they help reached in the last Congress. What the reporting requirement does is simple: it insists that anyone who says they were raped and seeks an abortion after the fifth month of pregnancy has to report the assault to authorities.

If Ellmers and others had picked this fight before, pro-lifers might understand. But the reality is, Ellmers and her RINO allies voted for this exact same language in 2013 when the Pain-Capable bill passed the House. So you can understand why groups like FRC were confused — not only by the timing of this stand (just days before a vote that had been planned since last year), but by the group’s sudden opposition.

While I was on Capitol Hill yesterday meeting with members, FRC’s government affairs team and thousands of you around the country tried to rally the House to overcome these obstacles. Ultimately, leadership decided it would be best to put the bill on hold for now and fast-track the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. For Ellmers and others, the backlash since last night’s betrayal has been severe. Today, the North Carolina politician tried to put out the fires of withdrawing her co-sponsorship by insisting that she was still “pro-life.” She’ll have an uphill climb proving it, after sidelining one of the first real meaningful unborn protections of the new Congress.

Of course, some are quick to put the blame at House leadership’s feet. I’m not one of them. As Rep. Franks said later, this isn’t the end of H.R. 36. “GOP leaders want to try to create as much unity as we can.” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the lead GOP sponsor of the bill that replaced Franks’s — and one of the strongest advocates for the unborn the U.S. House has ever seen — agreed. The Pain-Capable measure is “only delayed,” he promised, as we “just work through some bits.”

While this isn’t exactly how pro-lifers planned to mark the 42nd March for Life, we were just as thrilled that House conservatives united to pass the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act — a bill that would permanently wall off taxpayers from the bloody business of abortion in ObamaCare and other federal legislation. For Rep. Smith, Democratic sponsor Rep Dan Lipinski (Ill.), and the entire movement, seeing the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion pass the House was tremendous victory, several years in the making. And not just for us — but for an overwhelming number of Americans who support the idea (68% according to this morning’s polling).

To the credit of House leaders, all but one Republican — even the wobbly ones — voted yes on the bill. As disappointed as we are at the handful of members who delayed the pain ban, we applaud the House leadership for remaining committed to advancing pro-life legislation.

Protecting Life, One Step at a Time

While hundreds of thousands poured out on the National Mall with fresh hope for the conservative majority, members inside the Capitol were giving legs to that optimism. To observe the solemn anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the House took a stand to save the children of “choice” by creating a blanket ban on taxpayer-funded abortion across the entire government, permanently.

From the government’s abortion surcharge to the abortion-heavy D.C. plans (which FRC’s exposed), Americans are more implicated than ever in the procedure that a majority oppose. Liberals insist the country doesn’t need H.R. 7 because it has the Hyde Amendment (which prevents taxpayer-funding of abortion in federal appropriations bills). But unlike H.R. 7, the Hyde Amendment has to be reauthorized every year to stay in effect. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would save Congress from that annual fight and political horse-trading that takes place just to keep taxpayers mostly out of the abortion business.

H.R. 7 will create a permanent, government-wide ban on abortion funding — not just for health care bills, but also for overseas aid, and anything else that Congress subsidizes. As plenty of research shows, that doesn’t just save money — it saves lives! And what better way could we commemorate this day than that?

ProLifeCon 2015: A Year for Hope

If you’re reading this, you know well that digital media is one of the central battlegrounds of the pro-life movement. Today at FRC headquarters, digital media specialists from around country gathered to talk about how to best move America to a culture of life online. From the professional to the public servant to the personal, the 10th annual ProLifeCon offered motivation to anyone who speaks out online that we can make a difference.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) gave us their perspectives of this year’s pro-life potential on the Hill. We also heard from our friends who head pro-life organizations like Senator Rick Santorum, Star Parker, Kristan Hawkins, Charmaine Yoest, and Roland Warren.

Susan Gallucci gave us a poignant look at the positive work that can be done at a maternity home like D.C.’s Northwest Center. Film producer Ann McElhinney joined us by Skype to talk about going the masses to fund their movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Chelsea Patterson encouraged the audience about the power of a person’s own story in standing for life. Miss Delaware 2011 Maria Cahill showed us how the lasting rewards of serving a worthy cause are more important than any earthly crown. Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley shared the powerful story of their baby Shane and how even a terminal diagnosis in the womb didn’t mean that his life didn’t matter. I also had the privilege of presenting pro-life blogger Jill Stanek with FRC’s inaugural Digital Pro-Life Pioneer Award for excellence in paving the way in being a voice for the unborn online. If you missed it, you can watch all the day’s action on-demand here:

** FRC also marked the Roe anniversary by writing a couple of key columns, including Ken Blackwell’s Washington Times piece, “Aborting Black America” and Rob Schwarzwalder’s “The Abortion Industry: A Study in Predation.”


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Senator Flake: You’re Just Wrong

Senator John McCain’s surrogate, Senator Jeff Flake, says opponents of Obama’s Cuba normalization “are just plain wrong.”

But here’s the truth: Senator Flake, you’re just wrong about a lot of things.

You’re wrong about Cuba, and you’ve used this topic to deflect your constituents’ attention away from your support for amnesty.

You’re just plain wrong on the need for amnesty.

You’re also wrong on your support for ENDA — the crown piece of legislation coveted by the radical, left, homosexual lobby. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will force churches and others to employ people who disagree with their belief systems, under excessive punishment. It is intended to directly attack and undermine religious freedom in America.

Gee, Senator Flake, you sure agree with our hard-Left president a lot. In fact, the difference between your positions and those of Barack Obama are getting less and less distinguishable as time goes by.

Arizona Officials Call Out President for Lawlessness

In Friday morning remarks to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, the chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, criticized President’s Barack Hussein Obama for bypassing Congress and taking executive action on immigration.

“One of my greatest concerns here is that this president has demonstrated, not just tonight, but on many other occasions that he holds himself unconstrained by the constitution he swore to preserve and protect,” Congressman Franks said. “And if other presidents take that tack then the Constitution will essentially be vitiated and I suppose, we, as Americans will owe England an apology for that little unpleasantness back in Revolutionary War.”

Franks added that Obama has gone beyond the Constitution

“on a regular basis, on a mass scale, when it was very easy for him to have simply allowed the new Congress to come into power. We’ve already passed in the Republican House Judiciary Committee, upon which I sit, five bills related to immigration. And there is no question in my mind that there would be a Republican immigration bill.”

Asked about fears that Republicans, by insisting on upholding the law, would lose Latino votes, Franks said,

“Well, you know, in this last election, we got over 40%, which is a higher percentage than they’ve gotten in a long time. It’s kind of a false narrative; a lot of people who came to this country, my wife speaks a good part of Spanish, she’s from the Philippines, I’m married to an immigrant, she came here legally,” adding that immigrants, “who came here legally and who have relatives that are trying to come here legally resent the notion that we would simply allow those who come here illegally to get in front of them. And to have first place in being able to take their place in American society. I would like very much to do what’s necessary to fix our immigration system. It does have significant problems. But the reality is, if we are unable to control our borders then we simply, as Ronald Reagan mentioned, we cease to be a country at all. The bigger issue here is that this issue was playing out in Congress, there would have been legislation, and now I believe this President, sincerely, I believe that he has set back a real solution to this problem to this problem and divided Americans at each end, and this only demagogues the issue, which I’m afraid, genuinely, was his original intent.”

Attorney General-Elect Criticizes Obama

Today attorneys general and AG-elects in 17 states ripped Obama for his lawlessness. Among them was newly elected Arizona AG Mark Brnovich, who issued this statement:

Along with many of our fellow Americans, Republican Attorneys General listened carefully to President Obama’s remarks about his intended, unilateral actions regarding immigration. We agree with the President, “people who live in this country should play by the rules.” The American people also believe the President should play by the rules and respect the rule of law. The President cannot ignore the American people, the states or an entire branch of government.

Our country’s unique strength derives from its history of immigration. The values of immigrants are the values of our Republican Party, those of freedom, optimism, self-reliance, family and respect for the rule of law. We want our immigration laws to be enforced and our borders to be secure. We also want our country to be welcoming to those who want to join us on this American journey in the manner established by our laws.

As our states’ lead attorneys, however, we are committed to the rule of law and ensuring that we remain a nation of laws, enacted as prescribed by our Constitution. Each president takes an oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and … to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” We expect President Obama to fulfill this oath. As attorneys general we will uphold our constitutional oath to take whatever actions may be appropriate to uphold the rule of law.
Outgoing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Assails Lawless Prez

“Not so long ago, President Obama rightly acknowledged that his role as president under the Constitution is to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Publically and repeatedly he has rejected the suggestion of bypassing Congress to impose a de facto amnesty via executive order.

“Now, rather than work with Congress on a bipartisan solution to fix our immigration system and secure the border, he is once again taking brazen, unilateral action that will only further exacerbate the border problem – just as he did in 2012 when he signed an executive order to provide an amnesty to almost two million illegal aliens through his ‘Deferred Action’ plan.

“This is not a partisan issue. When the bluest of blue states – like Oregon, for example – vote overwhelmingly to prohibit illegal aliens from obtaining drivers licenses, it speaks volumes about the widespread lack of support for President Obama’s immigration policies. The American people have spoken, and time and again they have been ignored.

“That President Obama refuses to visit our border, refuses to enforce our existing immigration laws and refuses to come to the table on an issue of such critical national safety and economic importance is a disgrace. We are a nation of laws, the most significant of which are written to ensure cooperation and balance among our branches of government. Separation of powers is what has distinguished us from other forms of government for 225 years. Over the past six years, this President has sought at every turn to move us toward a concentration of power which, as President Reagan opined, ‘has always been the enemy of liberty.’ With controversial executive actions like that announced today, President Obama undermines our Constitution and erodes the fundamental principles upon which America was built.

“Clearly, the president is not interested in executing our laws, and even when he and his party had control of Congress and the White House, they did absolutely nothing to reform immigration. His new executive action sends a disturbing message about the way this president perceives his role as leader. When a president constantly refuses to enforce existing laws, disregards the will of the people and creates his own policies based on personal preferences, we shift from a nation of democracy to one of tyranny. In 1838, a profound man, Abraham Lincoln, prophetically warned the American people that a tyrant could overtake our political system from within, and that, ‘when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.’

“Evidently this president must be reminded that we, the American people, elected a president that serves beneath the law – we did not anoint a tyrannical king that is above the law.”

McSally Apparently Wins Round One; Recount Imminent

In the never-ending saga of Congressional District 2 vote counting, Freedom’s candidate Martha McSally stubbornly clings to the lead. She is now 133 votes ahead of CONTROL party incumbent Rob Barber, and that appears to be enough after the first vote count.

Pima County election officials counted 4.700 votes today, and just 200 provisional ballots remain uncounted. That makes it highly unlikely Barber could gain the needed 134 votes to pass McSally. And not all of the 200 ballots may even be from citizens residing within Congressional District 2.

So it appears McSally wins the original election. And now the recount will begin, since the election was so close.

CONTROL candidates now know how many votes they need to manipulate to steal this election. They’ve done it before — many times — and they’ll try every trick in the book. Pray that McSally has good lawyers!

McSally just released this statement:

“No doubt this has been a long process for everyone involved and we are grateful for all the support and encouragement we’ve seen. There are still ballots left to count, but we are confident that when all ballots are in, our lead will hold. We will continue to provide oversight of the process until then. ”

If McSally’s lead withstands the recount, she would give the party of Freedom a 5-4 lead over the CONTROL your life party among Congressmen in Arizona.

McSally’s Lead Shriveling Up

Freedom candidate Martha McSally still leads in the ongoing vote counting for Arizona’s second congressional district, but her lead is shrinking by the day.

The conservative now leads incumbent Ron Barber, representing the party that wants to CONTROL as much of our lives as possible, by just 179 votes. That represents a net loss of 162 votes for McSally in today’s counting.

And this is pretty much the scenario of the 2012 election between the same two candidates, when McSally led the leftist Barber on election night and then he edged ahead and emerged victorious in the days following the end of the voting season.

This district has not been in conservative hands in a long, long time — decades in fact.

Earlier today, McSally’s campaign asked a court to stop the counting of provisional ballots that were not correctly filed These are  provisional ballots submitted with a missing election official signature. A judge denied the request, even though the McSally campaign said Pima County election officials are not properly following state law. Who would imagine that? Wow, shocking! Democrats almost always seem to prevail in these post-election circuses.

Douglas Officially Wins State Superintendent of Public Instruction Race; Counting Continues in McSally’s Race

Developing …

In her quest to remove Common Core curriculum, Freedom party candidate for state superintendent of public instruction Diane Douglas has officially defeated CONTROL candidate David Garcia. The final margin was just under 18,000 votes.

Freedom party congressional candidate Martha McSally is still leading CONTROL party incumbent Ron Barber — by 341 votes.

The Arizona Daily Star, a left-stream newspaper in Tucson, just filed a story about controversy in this ongoing Congressional District 2 election.

The attorney representing Republican Congressional candidate Martha McSally is threatening legal action to stop Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez from processing some provisional ballots.

Rodriguez has already refused, saying her office will continue to process the ballots so they may be counted by the County Elections Department as early as Monday.

An attorney representing the McSally campaign and the Republican Party, Eric Spencer, objects to the verification of any provisional ballot that lacks a signature from an election official on the provisional ballot form.

In his letter to county officials, Spencer demanded that the recorder’s office “cease transmitting any previously-verified provisional ballots to the elections department, pending a review of the provisional ballot forms for missing election official signatures.”

Spencer cites the Arizona Secretary of State’s Election Procedures Manual, noting it states the election official must sign the provisional ballot form when a voter turns in a sealed envelope.

He said the campaign is formally challenging the validity of all provisional ballots that have a provisional ballot form with a missing election official signature. There is no indication how many ballots could be involved.

Two hours ago, the McSally campaign posted this message on her Facebook page:

We estimate another 6000 or so Pima County provisional ballots are left to verify and count in CD2 (10,000 for all of Pima County). This will be very very close!

Saturday Election Update

Freedom candidate Martha McSally continues to lead incumbent Ron Barber (CONTROL) in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s 2nd district. Her lead is currently 509 votes.

In the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Freedom candidate Diane Douglas leads CONTROL candidate David Garcia by just under 19,000 votes.