Life Advocacy Briefing

March 15, 2010

Sorry! / Dawn Johnsen Nomination Advancing / Picking on the Little Ones / Pushing for Action / Under Pressure / Resisting Reconciliation / Senate GOP Letter re Reconciliation / Voting Record Index – 110th Congress – 1st Session (2009) – House


FIRST, AN APOLOGY. Since we began publishing in 1994, we have never, to our memory, missed a publication week without having warned subscribers that such was a possibility. Last week, our editor bit off more than she could chew, thinking and hoping she could write Life Advocacy Briefing while on the road and attending a conference. It did not work out, so we apologize and appreciate your forebearance.


Dawn Johnsen Nomination Advancing

WHILE MANY OF US CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON OBAMA-CARE, the nomination of radical extremist lawyer Dawn Johnsen as chief legal counsel in the Justice Dept. has emerged from committee in the Senate on a party-line vote and could come before the Senate on short notice. Calls opposing this abortion industry tool can and should be placed to Senators via the Capitol switchboard at 1-202/224-3121.


Picking on the Little Ones

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (N.I.H.) IS PROPOSING A RULE CHANGE in the definition of embryonic stem cells, reports Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in FRC’s Washington Update.

“The change would allow for the destruction of more embryos,” writes Mr. Perkins, “by making younger embryos available for experiments. … This redefinition,” he reports, “would expand the unethical use of human embryos and create additonal incentives to cannibalize more embryos. It would also siphon more taxpayer funds away from adult stemcell research that is already saving lives and improving health of thousands of patients now.”

The public comment period for the rule change is open now until 11:59 p.m. EST on March 25. Comments may be submitted through the Internet website at


Pushing for Action

PRES. OBAMA LAID DOWN AN EDICT to his followers in Congress: Pass ObamaCare by March 18th or else! The President apparently wanted to take his trophy with him to Indonesia and Australia, where he is scheduled to travel later this month. But last Thursday, Congressional leaders told the White House the deadline push was not helping, and the President backed off, for now, risking instead the potential of Members facing constituents over the Easter break.

Every day brings a new tale of Democratic leaders seeking ways to twist rules and invent procedures to lob ObamaCare into the Oval Office without another vote in the House or without bringing it back to the Senate. And every day brings a new rumor about what Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) is planning to do about the coverage of abortion in the massive measure; he is known to support the overall idea but to object vehemently to the scuttling of the Hyde-like amendment he secured when the House passed its version of ObamaCare last fall.

Though Rep. Stupak has been standing firm for months – and gathering a dozen or so Democratic colleagues to stand with him – comments he uttered at an in-district townhall meeting last week generated qualms among those pro-life advocates who recalled the first hints Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) dropped last winter before selling out the pro-life cause.

Reacting to those who speculated that Mr. Stupak might be “ready to cave,” Rep. Stupak told John McCormack of the Weekly Standard, “‘Obviously they don’t know me. If I didn’t [cave in November], why would I do it now after all the [flak] I’ve been through?’”

Rep. Stupak acknowledged having had a conversation with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) about the prospect of meeting on his demands that abortion be excluded explicitly from any publicly funded healthcare package. But both men told reporters no such meeting has yet taken place.

For his part, Rep. Stupak “affirmed,” writes Mr. McCormack, “that he will not settle for an agreement to pass the bill now and fix the bill’s problems on abortion later. ‘If they say, “we’ll give you a letter saying we’ll take care of this later,” that’s not acceptable,’” he said, “‘because later never comes.’”

Message to Rep. Stupak and his dozen or so backers among pro-life Democrats: You’ve been doing fine. Hold firm. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are not going to turn their backs on the abortion industry. They are, rather, hoping to use your good intentions to deceive and betray you, in the same way as has happened to the formerly respected Sen. Nelson. Standing by your announced principles and proclaimed position will make heroes of you; letting these power-driven leftwing ideologues take advantage of whatever it is that motivates you to negotiate with them will leave you in the dust as people who merely wasted their time getting to the goal.

And one more message to the pro-life Democrats and to all advocates for the cause of Life: Fixing this bill to exclude abortion takes care of only one major problem. The entire bill – the whole idea of turning over our medical care to government bureaucrats – sets up a rationing system that threatens the right to life of every one of us alive in America today. A “no” vote on ObamaCare is the only vote that will suffice to protect vulnerable Americans from those who see human lives as expendable. Please, don’t give the anti-people crowd this power, with or without abortion funding.


Under Pressure

SOME OF REP. STUPAK’s BLESSED FELLOW NAYSAYERS WERE IDENTIFIED last Wednesday by Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron. Readers who live in the districts of these House Members need to call them now to urge them to stand strong against the “healthcare reform” proposal.

Voting “yes” on Speaker Pelosi’s proposal (with the Stupak/Pitts/Hyde protective amendment) last November and now saying they will vote “no” on “health care” unless abortion is excluded, according to Mr. Cameron: Rep. Stupak and Democratic Representatives Marion Berry (AR), Dan Lipinski (IL), Joe Donnelly (IN), Jim Oberstar (MN), Steve Driehaus (OH) and Kathy Dahlkemper (PA). And Mr. Cameron identified the following further Democrats as potential “no” voters “facing immense pressure from both sides”: Representatives Sanford Bishop (GA), Jerry Costello (IL), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Richard Neal (MA), and Tim Ryan and Charles Wilson (both OH).


Resisting Reconciliation

JUST IN CASE ‘RECONCILIATION’ DOES PLAY A ROLE, the Senate GOP Leadership has been rallying the 41 Senators in their conference to hold together against any parliamentary maneuver that would insert policy changes into the ObamaCare bills in the reconciliation process. Reconciliation is a parliamentary process whereby technical changes can be made in legislation without subjecting the proposal to a 60-vote majority requirement. Congressional Democrats have been talking about using reconciliation for ObamaCare compromises between the Senate and House ever since Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts special election to switch the vacant Senate seat from Democratic to Republican in January, costing the Senate Democrats their powerful 60-vote stature.

Last Wednesday, all 41 Republican Senators signed a letter to Majority Leader Reid warning him they would stand united against any attempt to misuse the reconciliation process to enact policy changes. We reprint their letter below.


Senate GOP Letter re Reconciliation

Here is the text of the letter sent Wednesday, March 10, to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, signed by every one of the 41 Republican Senators:

Dear Leader Reid:

We understand from press reports and comments that you and the Speaker have made that the House and Senate will use the budget reconciliation process to overhaul our nation’s healthcare system, which represents 1/6th of our economy. We urge you to not use reconciliation to pass a partisan bill that is opposed by the majority of Americans.

The American people have been paying close attention to the health reform debate; they understand the issues being discussed, and they have expressed broad opposition not only to the substance of the health reform bills but also to the process by which those bills have been developed. According to a Feb. 24 CNN poll, 73% of Americans believe Congress should either start over on an “entirely new bill” or not do healthcare reform at all this year. A Gallup survey released Feb. 25 showed that the majority of Americans oppose using reconciliation to expedite passage of health reform legislation through the Senate.

Overhauling our healthcare system will affect every single American and is simply too important to be passed without broad bipartisan support. Yet, it is clear that the only reason you are considering using the budget reconciliation process to pass this unpopular bil is because you have not been able to attract any Republican support for your comprehensive health bill.

We recommend you rethink your plans of expediting such legislation through Congress over the strong objections of the American people. We urge you to listen to the advice of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who was quoted in the Washington Post on March 22, 2009:

“I am certain that putting healthcare reform and climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted.

“Using the reconciliation process to enact major legislation prevents an open debate about critical issues in full view of the public. Health reform and climate change are issues that, in one way or another, touch every American family. Their resolution carries serious economic and emotional consequences.

“The misuse of the arcane process of reconciliation – a process intended for deficit reduction – to enact substantive policy changes is an undemocratic disservice to our people and to the Senate’s institutional role.”

We agree with this assessment – misusing the Senate rules in this way would be a tremendous “disservice” to the American people and it is “an outrage” that we should resist.

In that regard, to endeavor to ensure that the reconciliation process is not used to fast-track an unpopular bill through Congress, we wish to inform you that we will oppose efforts to waive the so-called Byrd Rule during Senate consideration of any reconciliation bill concerning health reform. The Byrd Rule, as you know, was created by Sen. Byrd to ensure that reconciliation bills were not used to enact policy changes, the primary purpose of which is not specifically related to the federal budget. As it takes 60 votes to waive the Byrd Rule, we can ensure that any provision that trips the Byrd Rule will be stripped from the bill, which will require that the bill be sent back to the House for further consideration and additional votes.

We urge you to abandon the use of reconciliation to pass a partisan bill that is opposed by the vast majority of Americans. Instead, we encourage you to work with us on a series of bipartisan bills that provide a step-by-step approach to reducing the cost of health care for Americans.


Voting Record Index – 111th Congress – First Session – House

AS HAS BEEN THE CASE SINCE REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) BECAME HOUSE SPEAKER in 2007, the House of Representatives saw relatively little action on Life-related issues in 2009, demonstrating again that elections do matter and so does party control. What action was taken, though, was critical and defining.

Notably, the House did take action on an amendment by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to defund Planned Parenthood, a key reform he proposed also in 2007; regrettably, the Pence Amendment did not prevail. Nor did efforts succeed to block the District of Columbia from spending public money on abortions, nor a bid to block the Obama Regime from setting up a new bureaucracy to push abortion across the world.

The most dramatic House action in 2009 was adoption – by a strong vote – of the Stupak/Pitts/Hyde Amendment to explicitly exclude abortion from Speaker Pelosi’s proposal to force Americans to become government clients for their medical care.


  • HR-2410 – Foreign Affairs Reauthorization Act including establishment of a new Office for Global Women’s Issues to promote abortion overseas – June 10, 2009 – Bill Passed 235-187.
  • HR-3170 – DC Abortion Funding – Motion to table a pro-life motion to appeal the ruling of the Chair which disallowed a pro-life motion to recommit the Financial Services & General Government Appropriation with instructions to prohibit public funding of abortions in the District of Columbia – July 16, 2009 – Tabling Motion Adopted 225-195.
  • HRes-644 – DC Abortion Funding – Rule for consideration of HR-3170 excluding Tiahrt Amendment to prohibit public funding of abortions in the District of Columbia – July 16, 2009 – Rule Resolution Adopted 216-213.
  • HR-3170 – DC Abortion Funding – Final Passage without abortion funding limit – July 16, 2009 – Bill Passed 219-208.
  • HR-3293 – Defunding Planned Parenthood – Pence Amendment to Appropriation for Health & Human Services to disqualify Planned Parenthood from Title X (Ten) funding – July 24, 2009 – Amendment Failed 183-247.
  • HR-3262 – Pelosi Plan for ObamaCare – Stupak/Pitts/Hyde Amendment to explicitly exclude abortion from coverage – November 7, 2009 – Amendment Adopted 240-194-1.
  • HR-3262 – Pelosi Plan for ObamaCare – Final Passage advancing socialization and rationing of medical care in America – November 7, 2009 – Bill Passed 220-215.



100% Pro-Life—Republicans: AL/Aderholt, Bonner, Rogers; AK/Young; AZ/Flake, Franks, Shadegg; AR/Boozman; CA/Bilbray, Bono-Mack, Campbell, Dreier, Gallegly, Hunter, Issa, Lewis, Lungren, McCarthy, McClintock, McKeon, Gary Miller, Nunes, Radanovich, Rohrabacher, Royce; CO/Coffman, Lamborn; FL/Bilirakis, Brown-Waite, Buchanan, Crenshaw, L. Diaz-Balart, M. Diaz-Balart, Mack, Mica, Miller, Posey, Putnam, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Stearns; GA/Broun, Deal, Gingrey, Kingston, Westmoreland; ID/Simpson; IL/Johnson, Manzullo, Roskam, Schock, Shimkus; IN/Burton, Buyer, Souder; IA/Latham; KS/Moran, Tiahrt; KY/Davis, Guthrie, Rogers, Whitfield; LA/Alexander, Boustany, Cassidy, Fleming, Scalise; MD/Bartlett; MI/Camp, Ehlers, Hoekstra, McCotter, Miller, Rogers; MN/Bachmann, Kline, Paulsen; MS/Harper; MO/Akin, Blunt, Emerson, Graves, Luetkemeyer; MT/Rehberg; NE/Fortenberry, Smith, Terry; NV/Heller; NJ/Garrett, LoBiondo, Smith; NY/King, Lee; NC/Coble, Foxx, Jones, McHenry, Myrick; OH/Austria, Jordan, Latta, Schmidt, Tiberi, Turner; OK/Cole, Fallin; PA/Gerlach, Tim Murphy, Pitts, Platts, Thompson; SC/Brown, Inglis, Wilson; TN/Blackburn, Duncan, Roe, Wamp; TX/Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Culberson, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Sam Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry; UT/Chaffetz; VA/Cantor, Forbes, Goodlatte, Wittman, Wolf; WA/Hastings, McMorris-Rodgers; WI/Petri, Ryan, Sensenbrenner; WY/Lummis.

—Democrats: AL/Bright, Griffith; GA/Marshall; LA/Melancon; MN/Peterson; MS/Childers, Taylor; NC/McIntyre; OR/Boren; TN/Davis.

100% Pro-Life when votingbut with absence/s (lower-case letter after “/” marks “not voting”)—Republicans: AL/Bachus/a; CA/ Herger/b,d; FL/Young/c; GA/Linder/b,d, Price/c; IN/Pence/b,c,d; IA/King/b,d; OH/ Boehner/e; OK/Lucas/b,c,d, Sullivan/a,b,d; PA/Shuster/b,d; SC/Barrett/b,d,e; TX/Hensarling/b,d, Paul/e; UT/Bishop/e.

—Democrats: (None)

Mostly Pro-Life—Voting “pro-life” on all but 1 to 2 roll calls when voting (upper-case letters after “/” marks anti-life votes; lower-case letter after “/” marks “not voting”)—Republicans: DE/Castle/A,E; IL/Biggert/E, Kirk/A,E; KS/Jenkins/E; LA/Cao/G; MI/Upton/E; NJ/Frelinghuysen/E, Lance/A,E;

OH/LaTourette/A; WA/Reichert/A; WV/Capito/E.

—Democrats: AL/Davis/A,E; AR/Ross/A,E; IL/Costello/G, Lipinski/A,G; IN/Donnelly/G, Ellsworth/G; MO/Skelton; NC/Shuler/A; OH/Boccieri/A,E; PA/Altmire/A,E, Dahlkemper/G/e;

Conflicted—Voting “pro-life” on 3 to 4 roll calls (upper-case letters after “/” marks anti-life votes)—Republicans: (None)

—Democrats: AR/Berry/A,C,E,G; MI/Stupak/A,E,G; MN/Oberstar/A,E,G; OH/Driehaus/A,E,G, Wilson/C/E,F; PA/Holden/A,B,D,E; TN/Gordon/A,C,E; WV/Mollohan/B,D,G, Rahall/B,D,G.

Mostly Anti-Life—Voting “pro-life” on 1 to 2 roll calls* (upper-case letters after “/” marks pro-life votes; lower-case letter after “/” marks “not voting”)—Republicans: (None)

—Democrats: AZ/Kirkpatrick/C, Mitchell/C; AR/Snyder/F; CA/Baca/F, Cardoza/F, Costa/F; CO/Markey/G, Salazar/F; FL/Boyd/G, Kosmas/G; GA/Barrow/F,G, Bishop/F; ID/Minnick/G; IN/Hill/C,F/a; KY/Chandler/F,G; ME/Michaud/C,F; MD/Kratovil/G; MA/Lynch/F, Neal/F; MI/Kildee/C,F; NJ/Adler/G; NM/Teague/F,G; NY/Massa/A,G, McMahon/G, Murphy/G; NC/Etheridge/F, Kissell/G; OH/Kaptur/F, Kucinich/A,G, Ryan/F, Space/F; PA/Carney/C,F, Doyle/C,F, Kanjorski/C,F, Murtha/C,F; RI/Langevin/F; SC/Spratt/F; SD/Herseth-Sandlin/G; TN/Cooper/F, Tanner/F,G; TX/Cuellar/F,G, Edwards/G, Ortiz/F, Reyes/F, Rodriguez/F; UT/Matheson/F,G; VA/Boucher/G, Nye/C,G, Perriello/C,F; WA/Baird/G; WI/Obey/F

*For some whose only “pro-life” vote was G, against final passage of the Pelosi/ObamaCare bill, their actual reason for voting “no” was that the bill was not sufficiently left-wing; Members showing only “G” as a “pro-life” vote should be viewed according to the balance of their records.

Solidly Anti-Life—Voting 100% anti-life (lower-case letter after “/” marks “not voting”)—Republicans: (None)

—Democrats: AZ/Giffords, Grijalva, Pastor; CA/Becerra, Berman, Capps, Chu/a**, S. Davis, Eshoo, Farr, Filner, Garamendi/a,b,c,d,e**, Harman, Honda, Lee, Lofgren, Matsui, McNerney, Geo. Miller, Napolitano, Pelosi/a,b,d,e***, Richardson, Roybal-Allard, Linda Sanchez/a, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman/b,d, Speier, Stark, Thompson, Waters, Watson, Waxman, Woolsey; CO/DeGette, Perlmutter, Polis; CT/Courtney, DeLauro, Himes, Larson, Murphy; FL/Cor. Brown, Castor, Grayson, Hastings, Klein, Meek, Wasserman-Schultz, Wexler; GA/Johnson, Lewis/a, Scott; HI/Abercrombie, Hirono; IL/Bean, Davis, Gutierrez, Halvorson, Hare, Jackson, Rush, Schakowsky; IN/Carson, Visclosky; IA/Boswell, Braley, Loebsack/a; KS/Moore; KY/Yarmuth; ME/Pingree; MD/Cummings, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger/a, Sarbanes, VanHollen; MA/Capuano, Delahunt/a, Frank, Markey/b,d, McGovern, Olver, Tierney, Tsongas; MI/Conyers, Dingell, Kilpatrick, Levin, Peters, Schauer; MN/Ellison/a, McCollum, Walz; MS/Thompson; MO/Carnahan, Clay, Cleaver; NV/Berkley, Titus; NH/Hodes, Shea-Porter; NJ/Andrews, Holt, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Rothman, Sires; NM/Heinrich, Lujan; NY/Ackerman, Arcuri, Bishop, Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Hall, Higgins, Hinchey, Israel, Lowey, Maffei, Maloney, McCarthy/e, Meeks, Nadler, Owens/a,b,c,d,e**, Rangel/e, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko, Towns, Velazquez, Weiner; NC/Butterfield, Miller, Price, Watt; OH/Fudge, Kilroy, Sutton; OR/Blumenauer, DeFazio, Schrader/c, Wu; PA/Brady, Fattah, Pat Murphy, Schwartz, Sestak; RI/Kennedy/a; SC/Clyburn; TN/Cohen; TX/Doggett, Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Hinojosa, Jackson-Lee, E.B. Johnson; VT/Welch/b,d; VA/Connolly, Moran, Scott/b,d; WA/Dicks, Inslee, Larsen, McDermott, Smith; WI/Baldwin, Kagen/a, Kind, Moore.

**Not a Member at the time of the absence(s)

*** Rep. Pelosi is the Speaker of the House; it is customary that the Speaker does not vote.

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