A Continuing Revolution on the Continuing Resolution
House members have already voted 40 times to repeal, defund, or change ObamaCare -- but conservatives are fighting to make it 41. That's the vote Republicans are banking on to bring the law to a screeching halt, if they can persuade leadership to get behind the grassroots plan. So far, so good, say members, who celebrated yesterday when the GOP leadership pulled their bill before it hit the House floor.
Under the leadership's plan, the continuing resolution (which keeps the government funded past October 1), would require a vote on ObamaCare, but would allow the Senate to pass the CR without defunding ObamaCare. Their strategy would have been helpful, in that it would have gotten squirmy Democrats on the record about ObamaCare, but also ineffectual, since the Senate could block the ObamaCare attachment without affecting the budget bill. The good news -- in addition to the leadership backing down -- is that the grassroots pressure is so strong that the GOP had no choice but to take a step back and reconsider.
While the House leaders regroup, Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are seizing the moment to push a stronger proposal. If Democrats will agree to delay ObamaCare for a year, conservatives will use those savings ($35 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office) to offset some of the spending cuts from sequestration. As Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) pointed out, liberals "don't like the sequester, so... if you want money from the sequester, take it from a law that's not even in place yet." The duo's strategy seems to be gaining some traction, especially with the conservative rank-and-file, who saw the leadership's proposal as just more window dressing.
Of course, the other piece to the ObamaCare puzzle is the debt limit, another ticking time bomb that's set to explode in mid-October. According to Treasury officials, the government has been bumping up against the $16.699 trillion borrowing limit for months, but soon, the administration will run out of creative ideas for moving money around to accommodate it. Every day, the Washington Post explains, the Treasury Department receives as many as two million invoices from various government agencies. Treasury workers can postpone some, but the White House insists it can't stop payments on everything it owes. It can, however, cut back on the projects it's agreeing to -- and that's the GOP's point. For now, though, both sides are bracing for the debt limit standoff -- the 14th between the two sides since 2000.
The stakes have never been higher than the most recent clash, especially since it would require borrowing another $1,100,000,000,000 for the government to meet its obligations through 2014. Depending on how the CR proposals shake out, the debt debate is yet another bit of leverage to help conservatives upend ObamaCare. As Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) told his party, "We can achieve victory for American families without a government shutdown, but I will not surrender in the fight to delay ObamaCare for all Americans. We must use every legislative avenue available, through the CR, the debt ceiling, and sequester conversation to free the country from the President's train-wreck of a health care law."
Be encouraged! Your voice is making a difference! Keep up the pressure so that House leaders have no choice but to fight this law straight to its demise.
A Pillard of Strength for Obama
Georgetown Law Professor Cornelia Pillard has written some pretty outlandish things -- but Senate Republicans are hoping circuit court opinions won't be added to the list. The President's pick for the D.C. Circuit Court, one of the most liberal ever nominated, left plenty of Senators scratching their heads at her July Judiciary hearing.
Among her most shocking statements, Pillard has called the ultrasound "deceptive," argued that abstinence education is unconstitutional, and suggested that pro-life laws only "enforce women's incubation of unwanted pregnancies" which projects a "vision of the woman's role as mothers and caretakers." This, she argues, violates equal protection for women. "I don't know that there is anyone who has raised more red flags," said a Republican aide.
During her explosive Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took her to task in a few tense exchanges over her views, which he called "considerably out of the mainstream." Interestingly enough, his committee is considering Pillard's nomination at the same time as Senate Republicans are circulating a bill to reduce the number of justices on the D.C. court by three. Considered by many to be the second most powerful court in the country, the D.C. Circuit Court is routinely criticized for retaining so many judges with such a light caseload.
For now, the Senate Judiciary Committee is the only thing standing between Pillard's extreme views and a vote before the whole chamber. Contact Committee members and urge them to be the judicial firewall our nation so desperately needs.
Blazing a New Trail...
The parents looking for an alternative to the liberal turn of the Boy Scouts of America finally have one! Last Friday, former Eagle Scouts, parents, scoutmasters, and church leaders introduced America to Trail Life USA-- an outdoor adventure program that embraces all of the principles of traditional scouting -- without the pro-homosexual politics. Our good friend John Stemberger, who helped lead the fight to save the BSA, said the new group has been overwhelmed by the demand. More than 30,000 people have contacted Trail Life USA to get connected to the organization, which officially launches January 1.
"Our vision will be to become the premier national character development organization for young men which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens," Stemberger said. "Parents are going to love the new outdoor adventure program, and we are very excited to be part of this next chapter in the history of scouting in America." Open to boys ages 5-17, Trail Life USA already has 70 troops in waiting, with more certain to join once word spreads. To learn how you and your church can get involved, check out the new website, www.TrailLifeUSA.com, and watch the video!
**"How ridiculous are parental consent laws? New mom and FRC expert Anna Higgins explains in a new column for the Washington Examiner, "The Wisdom of Waiting Periods for Tattoos and Abortions."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.