Family Research Council

Mission Impassable: GOP Tries for Health Fix

July 10, 2017

Is it a vote on health care -- or a vote to stay in power? It's both, according to a lot of Republicans. Keeping their promise to America may be the only way to keep their control of Congress -- and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) knows it. The Iowa conservative vented about the internal squabbling over the weekend when talks about the GOP bill looked bleakest. In a blunt tweet, Grassley scolded his colleagues for not getting their act together. "52 Republican senators [should] be ashamed that we have not passed health reform by now WE WONT BE ASHAMED WE WILL GO FROM MAJORITY TO MINORITY."

Cleaning up an eight-year mess in six months has been as tough as advertised for the GOP, which flew back into town today after getting an earful in their home states. For people like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), it wasn't much of a holiday. In his race against the clock, he and other Republicans have been working through the recess trying to cobble together another version of the bill to replace Obamacare. And voters aren't the only ones getting antsy. On the weekend talk shows, Senators like John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) weren't exactly optimistic about the GOP's prospects of striking a deal in the days left before the August break. Calling the last version "dead," the pair left the door open for whatever edits McConnell may have made to the plan that almost a dozen Republicans opposed. "Is the serious rewrite plan dead? I don't know," Cassidy said.

Fortunately, not everyone shares the duo's bleak outlook. President Trump isn't about to throw in the towel on an issue that clearly helped propel him to victory. "For years, even as a 'civilian,' I listened as Republicans pushed the repeal and replace of Obamacare," he tweeted. "Now they finally have their chance!" He followed that up with a subtle push, "I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new health care bill fully approved and ready to go." Like other conservatives, he doesn't think the August break is nearly as important as finishing the people's business. At this point, everything is on the table, including forgoing the Senate's time off.

"Whether it'd be before August recess or during August recess, the president expects the Senate to fulfill the promises it made to the American people," the White House's Reince Priebus told reporters. If sacrificing some vacation time is what it takes to get the job done, then Republicans are willing. Ten of them even sent a letter to McConnell to that effect, asking him to postpone the start of the recess so they could finish what the House started. During the past week, the Majority Leader tweaked his Better Care Reconciliation Act, updating it to address some of the GOP's concerns. If his party still can't agree, McConnell still has the option to put the 2015 bill on the floor and essentially repeal Obamacare. That would accomplish two things: eliminating Obama's failure of a law and buying Republicans more time on a replacement.

Doing nothing is no longer an option when the health care exchange is imploding, insurers are running for the exits, and premiums are through the roof. Republicans may not agree on everything about the health care repeal, but they should all agree on this: the law has to go. And as far as unborn children are concerned, the sooner the better. Every day that Obamacare is in place is a day that our tax dollars are being used to subsidize abortion coverage. That must stop!

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

Libs Don't Waiver on Planned Parenthood

July 10, 2017

Texas's motto is "Friendship" -- but it ought to be "Persistence." For the last several years, state officials have been more determined than anyone to keep Planned Parenthood's hands off their tax dollars. Even when President Obama made it sting (stopping the flow of $35 million in federal Medicaid funding), then-Governor Rick Perry didn't blink. Instead, he and the state's conservatives turned around and created "Healthy Texas Woman," a program that let them decide which providers are eligible for funding. Instead of funneling the money to Cecile Richards's group, state leaders wrote their checks to health centers that don't perform abortions. It was a strong stand -- one that at least two other states replicated. Iowa and Missouri decided as recently as this year to forgo the millions in federal dollars so that they could defund Planned Parenthood.

Now, with Donald Trump in the White House, Texas is testing the waters by asking for their federal funding back -- with the understanding that the state would still exclude abortion groups. Not surprisingly, the request has sent the Left into a panic. The liberal-leaning Guttmacher Institute bemoaned the fact that "If CMS [the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services] were to approve this waiver and offer federal funding for this program, it would open the floodgates for this to be implemented in other states." Pro-lifers sure hope so. It should be up to the states to decide where their health care dollars go. And preferably, not to organizations that think abortion is health care.

Planned Parenthood was already in a bad mood over Congress's push to defund them. Now, with the possibility of states like Texas doing the same, their staff is beside themselves. Spokeswoman Danielle Wells called it an "underhanded attempt to cut off care at Planned Parenthood." But there's nothing underhanded about it. Conservatives have been very open about their desire to shift money to groups that actually care for women with the tests, screenings, and information they need. Based on their annual report, the only service Planned Parenthood seems to excel at is abortion.

Somehow, Cecile Richards still manages to keep a straight face when she says abortion is a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood's business, but, as National Review points out, "this tired, bogus statistic has been debunked numerous times -- including by left-leaning outlets like Slate and Washington Post. Despite repeating the three percent statistic, the new report lists 328,348 abortions in the U.S. during the 2015-16 fiscal year, up nearly 5,000" over the previous year.

Even more surprising, abortions now outnumber basic breast exams for the first time in Planned Parenthood's history. That's not difficult to believe since overall health screenings have dropped by half since 2011. Cancer exams, the go-to talking point for Planned Parenthood's defenders, are down a whopping 16,974 at Richards's clinics. Of course, the number of mammograms performed at Planned Parenthood stayed the same: zero. Even contraception counseling, the group's bread-and-butter, fell by 136,244. They even saw 100,000 fewer patients than the year before! So, Texas isn't the only one wondering: what exactly are our tax dollars buying?

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

Destination D.C.! RSVP to VVS Today...

July 10, 2017

With Donald Trump in the White House, it's not hard to find conservatives in D.C.! But October 13-15, FRC Action is gathering thousands of them in one place: the 12th Annual Values Voter Summit. For three days, men and women from around the country will get a firsthand look at the capital city after the change they voted for! You won't want to miss the power-packed program and see for yourselves how we can build on the progress already being made by the new administration and GOP Congress. Join us at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for a great event, which also features celebrity book signings, a special movie screening, a jam-packed exhibit hall, in-depth breakout training sessions, the Faith, Family, and Freedom Gala, and much more!

Since 2006, the Summit has featured some of the brightest stars of the conservative movement, including: the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Republican presidential candidates, popular governors and congressional leaders; Dr. Bill Bennett; Jon Voight; Duck Dynasty's Phil and Alan Robertson; Kirk Cameron; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Mark Levin; Sean Hannity; David Limbaugh; Ben Stein; Laura Ingraham; and more. Registration packages start at just $119 for adults and $50 for students (scholarships are available). Log on to or call 877-372-2808 to save your seats today!

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

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

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