Life Advocacy Briefing

January 26, 2015

What a Week in Washington! / Retreat! / March for Life Speech
Co-Sponsors of Taxpayer Funding Ban
House Voting Record on Taxpayer Funding Ban

What a Week in Washington!

LAST THURSDAY, THE MARCH FOR LIFE BROUGHT hundreds of thousands of Americans to the National Mall on Jan. 22 to mark the 42nd anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court edicts decriminalizing the deliberate killing of innocent, vulnerable gestating babies. We hope to publish transcripts of some of the March rally speeches in future weeks, as is our custom.

While the March proceeded to the steps of the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives was deliberating and voting on HR-7, the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, which passed by a vote of 242 to 179 and was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), along with 20 co-sponsors. It echoes legislation passed in the early days of the 113th Congress two years ago, but that earlier bill languished in the Senate. The Senate is expected to take up consideration of the bill during the 114th Congress, hopefully soon.

Though the bill was brought forward suddenly, without committee hearing, supporters in floor debate noted the bill’s predecessor, which had jumped through all customary hoops. Further, it merely expands long-standing policy under the venerable Hyde Amendment, which has long purported to bar taxpayer-funded abortion but actually bans only funding through the annual appropriation measure of the Dept. of Health & Human Services and ha to be renewed annually. HR-7 covers all agencies of the federal government and is aimed at permanent statutory law.

We publish the House voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing. House abortion backers unsuccessfully opposed the procedural motion to close debate on the Rule setting the parameters of the bill’s consideration and the motion to adopt that rule; additionally, the abortion lobby’s Members offered a motion to recommit the measure to committee in order to block consideration of HR-7 itself, a motion which failed. We will likewise in future weeks publish the voting records also on the three procedural motions leading up to HR-7’s consideration.



THE UNEXPECTED EMERGENCE OF HR-7 as the first pro-life measure of this Congress was prompted by the backing down of the House Republican (Majority) Leadership on their earlier announced intention to take a Jan. 22 vote on HR-36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

The major pro-life initiative, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), was not only announced in advance but was all set to go, procedurally. The Rule for consideration of HR-36, which was combined in one resolution with an unrelated Rule for consideration of an unrelated measure, was even adopted on Wednesday, Jan. 21, just a day before the expected floor debate and vote on barring the abortion killing of gestating babies aged 20 weeks and beyond.

Though it is expected HR-36 will arise some time later in this session, its sudden yanking from Thursday’s agenda seemed to signal retreat and brought on a firestorm of controversy, adding controversy over not just the Leadership’s move but over the should-be-a-no-brainer bill itself.

Blame for the sudden move is being directed by most observers at House Republican women – nearly all of whom are pro-life – who reportedly expressed concern during the previous week’s party policy conference (appropriately called a “retreat”) about a provision affecting the rape/incest loophole (which should not have been included in the bill in the first place, but that is our position, not theirs!). The loophole would apply only to those 20-week-along-and-later mothers who would be allowed under the bill to abort their developing babies on the basis that their children had been conceived in sex crimes. The provision was blamed for the lady legislators’ – reportedly led in this rebellion by Representatives Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jackie Walorski of Indiana – plea for relief from the need to vote on the pro-life movement’s principal legislation for 2015. Their problem: the language – common in state rape/incest loopholes – limiting the loophole use to those mothers who reported their sex crime victimhood to police in a timely manner (rather than simply allowing the abortionist to use it as an excuse for perpetrating a late-term abortion).

What were the ladies so afraid of? The President had issued a Statement of Administrative Policy on HR-36 which was actually a veto threat. Judging from other news out of Washington ever since the 114th Congress took the Constitutional oath of office, veto threats seem the order of the day, since the opposing party now controls both houses of Congress and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) can no longer protect the President from having any worthy legislation hit his desk.

Ironically, the same provision was in the bill when it passed the House by wide margins in the 113th Congress, but the GOP ladies in Congress and many of their male colleagues – most of whom voted for the same bill with the oh-my provision in 2013 – now express fear that they will be attacked politically for being unsympathetic to rape victims. Because the President pointed out the loophole’s loophole.

(The solution to that feared problem is a good offense, to step out with pride for having voted to outlaw post-five-month abortions; it is a very popular position with the American public. The idea anyway that a pregnant rape victim could justify killing her baby after five months of carrying the child is ludicrous to normal, thinking Americans, which is why the sex loophole should not have been included to begin with, but we are too realistic to suggest those who ran because of the police report requirement would support removing the loophole altogether.)

Pro-life observer Ed Morrissey, published on the Internet blog, noted (and we agree with him wholeheartedly): “Even if Democrats planned to use this as a way to paint Republicans as ‘extreme,’ so what? They will do that with every vote against their agenda anyway.” If that is what this panic was about, this will be a long, disappointing session and may prove to be disastrous for the party which so recently celebrated overwhelming victory.

Of course, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) weighed in on HR-36 with great alarm and high dudgeon when the House adopted the procedural motions Wednesday which purported to set up the vote that did not happen. She vowed to block the measure in the Senate. But then, Sen. Boxer was also the passionate chief opponent to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act which got past her and landed on Pres. Bill Clinton’s desk repeatedly before Pres. George W. Bush signed it. One should have no qualms about Sen. Boxer’s effectiveness on the issue of baby-killing.

It will no doubt take considerable time for HR-36 – the principal pro-life federal initiative for 2015 – to arise for actual consideration. We see the House Republican women and the Majority Leadership who caved in to them as responsible, when the House does bring the measure forward for debate and vote, for taking up aggressive advocacy for the protection of these vulnerable, already pain-capable, innocent pre-born boys and girls. We look forward to seeing and hearing the ladies in the House GOP conference take the lead on bringing back HR-36, so the will of the American people can be accomplished.

A note of encouragement came during the March for Life Rally: While giving the leading Congressional speech at Thursday’s outdoor rally, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) pledged that HR-36 would be brought forward and passed in the House of Representatives during this Congress. She is a member of the House GOP Leadership, serving as Conference Chairman, giving her authority to make such a pledge. The House Pro-Life Caucus Chairman, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), in his March rally speech, also raised the delay in considering the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, declaring, “Our Leadership is true; they are faithful. And they will bring that legislation to the floor, and we will pass it.” We have transcribed the speech by Rep. McMorris Rodgers and publish it below; transcripts of speeches by Rep. Smith, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) will appear in future editions.

Also lending their presence and endorsement to the March rally – but without the opportunity to speak – were Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and GOP Representatives Bruce Westerman (AR); Carlos Curbelo, Tom Rooney & Dan Webster (FL); Marlin Stutzman & Jackie Walorski (IN); Tim Huelskamp (KS); Steve Scalise (LA); Andy Harris (MD); Dan Benishek, Bill Huizenga & Tim Walberg (MI); Steve Pearce (NM); Tom Reed (NY); Robert Pittenger (NC); Brad Wenstrup (OH); Keith Rothfus (PA); and Brian Babin, Bill Flores & Pete Olson (TX).


March for Life Speech

Congressional keynote given by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), House GOP Conference Chairman, transcribed by Life Advocacy from EWTN coverage

Thank you for being here from every corner of America to help us celebrate life today on the National Mall. What a great day! I am excited to be here and excited to join my colleagues in committing to you that we are here to help lead the effort on Capitol Hill to ensure that every life is protected. I’m proud to be a pro-life leader and a pro-life mom, and later on today in the House of Representatives, we will be passing the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion. We are going to hold, we are holding the federal government accountable to prevent your taxpayer dollars from funding abortion. When your tax dollars are used to fund this unthinkable act, it is a violation of the public trust.

Now let me be clear. As a pro-life advocate, our work is never done. And we remain committed, as I stand here today, to passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the House of Representatives. We remain committed to passing the Healthcare Conscience Rights Acts in the House of Representatives. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is so important, because it shifts the debate in the pro-life community all across this country and makes it very clear: the pain an unborn child feels is very real and very wrong.

Some of you may know that Brian and I have a son, Cole, who’s seven years old and was born with that extra 21st chromosome. And you know, when we received that news, it wasn’t what we expected, and we were told and given a long list of possible challenges, chances of heartache. You know what? That extra chromosome has brought my family a whole bunch of joy. Cole has recommitted my effort and reminded me anew of the value of every human life and the contribution that every human life can make to this world. Today I am more patient because of Cole in my life, and I am more committed to making sure that people in America understand and celebrate the fact that every child and every life is a gift.

Now Cole, today he’s seven years old. He enjoys reading, peanut butter, basketball. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he says he wants to be a firefighter or a football player. (Go, Seahawks!)

I am so inspired to be here today with all of you – and so many young people! It’s such an honor for me to speak to the next generation of pro-life leaders, right here. Thank you for being here. Keep taking a stand. Keep telling your stories. Keep sharing the powerful and compelling fact that every life is a gift. Together we will accomplish great things. We will carry the torch forward and make sure that everyone in America recognizes the gift that every life brings.


Co-Sponsors of Taxpayer Funding Ban

Chief sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), along with Republican Representatives Martha Roby/AL; Kevin McCarthy & Mimi Walters/CA; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen/FL; Jackie Walorski/IN; Lynn Jenkins/KS; Steve Scalise/LA; Vicky Hartzler & Ann Wagner/MO; Renee Ellmers, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry/NC; John Boehner/OH; Joseph Pitts/PA; Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn/TN; Pete Sessions/TX; Cathy McMorris-Rodgers/WA; Cynthia Lummis/WY. And Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski/IL.


House Voting Record on Taxpayer Funding Ban

Final Passage – HR-7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act – Passed – Jan. 22, 2015 – 242-179 (Democrats in italics; new Members in ALL CAPS)

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: Aderholt, Brooks, Byrne, PALMER, Roby, Rogers/AL; Young/AK; Franks, Gosar, McSALLY, Salmon, Schweikert/AZ; Crawford, HILL, WESTERMAN, Womack/AR; Calvert, Cook, Denham, Hunter, Issa, KNIGHT, LaMalfa, McCarthy, McClintock, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce, Valadao, WALTERS/CA; BUCK, Coffman, Lamborn, Tipton/CO; Bilirakis, Buchanan, CLAWSON, Crenshaw, CURBELO, DeSantis, Diaz-Balart, Jolly, Mica, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Webster, Yoho/FL; ALLEN, CARTER, Collins, Graves, HICE, LOUDERMILK, Price, A. Scott, Westmoreland, Woodall/GA; Labrador, Simpson/ID; BOST, R. Davis, DOLD, Hultgren, Kinzinger, Lipinski, Roskam, Schock, Shimkus/IL; Brooks, Bucshon, Messer, Rokita, Stutzman, Walorski, Young/IN; BLUM, King, YOUNG/IA; Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder/KS; Barr, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers, Whitfield/KY; ABRAHAM, Boustany, Fleming, Graves, Scalise/LA; POLIQUIN/ME; Harris/MD; Amash, Benishek, BISHOP, Huizenga, Miller, MOOLENAAR, TROTT, Upton, Walberg/MI; EMMER, Kline, Paulsen, Peterson/MN; Harper, Palazzo/MS; Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, Wagner/MO; ZINKE/MT; Fortenberry, Smith/NE; Amodei, HARDY, Heck/NV; GUINTA/NH; Frelinghuysen, Garrett, Lance, LoBiondo, MacARTHUR, Smith/NJ; Pearce/NM; Collins, Gibson, KATKO, King, Reed, STEFANIK, ZELDIN/NY; Ellmers, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, Jones, McHenry, Meadows, Pittenger, ROUZER, WALKER/NC; Cramer/ND; Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Renacci, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner, Wenstrup/OH; Bridenstine, Cole, Lucas, Mullin, RUSSELL/OK; Walden/OR; Barletta, COSTELLO, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, Murphy, Perry, Pitts, Rothfus, Shuster, Thompson/PA; Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney, Rice, Sanford, Wilson/SC; Noem/SD; Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fincher, Fleischmann, Roe/TN; BABIN, Barton, Brady, Burgess, Conaway, Cuellar, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hensarling, HURD, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, RATCLIFFE, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry, Weber, Williams/TX; Bishop, Chaffetz, LOVE, Stewart/UT; BRAT, COMSTOCK, Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Wittman/VA; Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, NEWHOUSE, Reichert/WA; JENKINS, McKinley, MOONEY/WV; Duffy, GROTHMAN, Ribble, Ryan, Sensenbrenner/WI; Lummis/WY.
Voting “no” / anti-Life: Sewell/AL; Gallego, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, Sinema/AZ; AGUILAR, Bass, Becerra, Bera, Brownley, Capps, Cardenas, Chu, Costa, Davis, DeSAULNIER, Eshoo, Farr, Garamendi, Hahn, Honda, Huffman, Lee, LIEU, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Pelosi, Peters, Roybal-Allard, Ruiz, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Thompson, TORRES, Vargas, Waters/CA; DeGette, Polis/CO; Courtney, DeLauro, Esty, Himes, Larson/CT; Carney/DE; Brown, Castor, Frankel, GRAHAM, Grayson, Murphy, Wasserman-Schultz, Wilson/FL; Bishop, Johnson, Lewis, D. Scott/GA; Gabbard, TAKAI/HI; Bustos, D. Davis, Foster, Gutierrez, Kelly, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky/IL; Carson, Visclosky/IN; Loebsack/IA; Yarmuth/KY; Richmond/LA; Pingree/ME; Cummings, Delaney, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, VanHollen/MD; Capuano, Clark, Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, MOULTON, Neal, Tsongas/MA; Conyers, DINGELL, Kildee, LAWRENCE, Levin/MI; Ellison, McCollum, Nolan, Walz/MN; Clay, Cleaver/MO; ASHFORD/NE; Titus/NV; Kuster/NH; NORCROSS, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sires, Watson-Coleman/NJ; Lujan, Lujan-Grisham/NM; Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Hanna, Higgins, Israel, Jeffries, Lowey, C. Maloney, S. Maloney, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rangel, RICE, Serrano, Slaughter, Tonko, Velazquez/NY; ADAMS, Butterfield, Price/NC; Beatty, Fudge, Kaptur, Ryan/OH; Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader/OR; BOYLE, Brady, Cartwright, Doyle, Fattah/PA; Cicilline, Langevin/RI; Clyburn/SC; Cohen, Cooper/TN; Castro, Doggett, A. Green, Jackson-Lee, E.B. Johnson, O’Rourke, Veasey, Vela/TX; Welch/VT; BEYER, Connolly, Scott/VA; DelBene, Heck, Kilmer, Larsen, McDermott, Smith/WA; Kind, Moore, Pocan/WI.

Not Voting: Perlmutter/CO; Deutch, Hastings/FL; Duckworth /IL; Nunnelee, Thompson/MS; Boehner/OH; Carter, G. Green, Hinojosa, S. Johnson, Marchant/TX; Forbes/VA.