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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Dems Blasted For Killing Religious Liberty Amendment - U.S. Taxpayer Funding European Bailouts

“Our national debt per person now equals nearly $45,000, more than Greece. The president’s budget plan, sent to Congress, would grow our total debt by another $11 trillion. By the end of ten years, interest payments will be $850 billion annually, $200 billion more than we will be spending on defense…President Obama’s budget plan would bleed this nation dry—taking from the private sector to fund the public sector until both have been led to financial ruin.” ~ Ranking Member Sessions

Today in Washington, D.C. - March 2, 2012:
House and Senate is not in session today and will return on Monday. As note in an update yesterday, Senate Democrats voted to kill Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) amendment that would have restored the rights of religious institutions to not be forced to pay for things like contraception coverage that violate their religious beliefs. Democrats lined up against religious liberty and in favor of a mandate requiring religious employers to pay for insurance coverage than includes contraception issued by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius authorized by President Obama’s unpopular health care law.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell expressed, “Most of us probably assumed that if religious liberty were ever seriously challenged in this country, we could always expect a robust bipartisan defense of it at least from within the Congress itself. But unfortunately that’s not the situation we find ourselves in. Democrats have evidently decided that they’d rather defend a President of their own party, regardless of the impact of his policies. So rather than defend the First Amendment in this particular case, they’ve decided to engage in a campaign of distraction as a way of obscuring the larger issue at stake here.”

The Wall Street Journal editors have pointed out the outrageous lengths Democrats went to try to change the issue from one of protecting religious liberty to a fantasy attack on women’s health. “Nancy Pelosi called it ‘devastating legislation’ and ‘the latest ploy in the Republican agenda of disrespecting the health of American women.’ Planned Parenthood claimed the ‘dangerous proposal’ would have allowed ‘your boss’ - yes, yours - to decide ‘which prescriptions you can get filled and which medical procedures you can have,’ including cancer screening, maternity care and AIDS medications. It sounds medieval. But in fact, the provision that the Senate tabled yesterday would merely have restored the status quo of one month ago. Those were the dark ages before the Obama Administration overturned traditional conscience protections with its birth-control insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act.”

Democrats’ distortions about the vote have been so egregious, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker awarded “Three Pinocchios” to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) rhetoric on the subject, writing, “Schumer’s comments ooze hyperbole and alarmist language. Beyond that, he has to rely on legalistic interpretations to defend them. As for the senator’s slippery slope argument, we find that accepting such reasoning is a bit of a slippery slope itself. It’s a favorite of politicians who want to draw loose connections rather than debate the merits of a proposal as it stands. Overall, Schumer earns three Pinocchios for his comments about the Blunt Amendment.”

The WSJ editors explain, “The amendment had nothing to do with a ‘ban’ on contraception, or any of the other delusions and distortions of the left. The real issue is that the ObamaCare mandate requires employers, including religious schools and hospitals, to buy coverage that may violate their moral beliefs. The Blunt amendment would merely have let those religious-affiliated institutions provide coverage without paying for care that violates their religious conscience.”

In other news, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced this week that it had identified over 1,500 duplicative, fragmented, and inefficient programs in the federal government—on which more than $400 billion is spent each year. A Budget Committee summary of the report may be found here.

Many Republican Senators have increased pressure on the Administration to end the president’s domestic energy blockade. In a letter, Sen. Jeff Sessions explained that America has potentially more recoverable domestic reserves than almost any nation on earth and that “powerful action to harness America’s untapped oil and gas resources,” in addition to reducing prices, “would also provide millions of Americans with good-paying, private-sector jobs; produce substantial royalties for local, state and federal governments; reduce our enormous trade imbalance; and put an end to our huge wealth transfer from America to competitors overseas.” Sessions analyzed the administration’s approach in a statement yesterday responding to the president’s “defeatist” New Hampshire speech: “the Obama Administration has made clear that they would rather tax Americans and domestic producers to pay for more Solyndras… than utilize our natural resources to enrich the country and grow the private sector.”

In closing out this week, it should be noted that numerous House members continued to address and express their frustration with various agendas and actions by members and departments of the Obama Administration.  Of noted interest was by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) who asked in an article on RedState Why is Obama Bailing Out Greece? And Why is the MSM Covering Up For Him? She identified, "

The mainstream media has given a lot of coverage to the debt crisis and the bailout bonanza it’s unleashed – first the Greek bailout, then the Irish and Portuguese bailouts, then Greece again. But the MSM conveniently forgets to mention two important things: the role of the International Monetary Fund in funding these bailouts (one-third of the cost, actually), and the fact that America is the largest contributor to the IMF.

"This month, the European Union unveiled its umpteenth bailout of Greece, bringing the total cost of that bailout alone to $500 billion (or more than the entire Greek economy). That doesn’t include the cost of the Ireland and Portugal bailouts (combined total: $259 billion), and the growing likelihood that Spain and Italy will need bailouts too. . . . 'At a time when America is borrowing over $1 trillion every single year, why are we borrowing more money – much of it from China – to bail out Europe?'

"Even the White House understands the political potency of this issue. At last week’s White House press briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked whether the Administration would come to Congress to request more funding for the IMF. Earnest said “further contributions” to the IMF are “off the table.” But that’s misleading. Every month, the IMF is using “further contributions” from you – the taxpayer – through America’s $68 billion IMF quota plus a separate $100 billion line of credit called the “New Arrangements to Borrow” (NAB) – for the European bailouts. Those bailouts could be stopped by the Administration, but they refuse to take action. Why? Because they support the bailouts (albeit quietly). And the media won’t call them out on it. And so, it’s time for Congress to take action to protect your tax money.

Rep. Rodgers identified that she has introduced H.R. 2313, that would repeal the Administration’s $100 billion line of credit to the IMF. She identified that "Only $7 billion of that $100 billion has been committed, so we have up to $93 billion to protect and designate for deficit reduction. Every day, that money is in jeopardy of being committed by the IMF, so we don’t have time to waste. And should Spain or Italy need a bailout, there is no question that most of the $100 billion will disappear, and quickly."

H.R. 2313 has 91 cosponsors. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has introduced companion bill S. 1276 – which has 25 Republican cosponsors. McMorris said, At the very least, we should have a public debate about whether or not America should be involved in these European bailouts. And the Administration should be honest about its support for them. ... I will continue to oppose American involvement in a European TARP. We cannot afford to take the 'too big to fail' philosophy to a global level. The only thing 'too big to fail' is America itself."

Tags: US Senate, Democrats, defeat, Religious Liberty Amendment, US House, Greece, IMF, European bailouts To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 3:35 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Sandra Jo Chandler said...

"Senate Democrats voted to kill Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) amendment that would have restored the rights of religious institutions to not be forced to pay for things "like" contraception." What other things are "like" contraception?

Anonymous David Crow said...

Vote conservative! Elections have consequences....we are living with some in the senate and White House and the AR leg/gov....November is coming and time to chg!!!!!


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