Monday, December 16, 2013

Should people know what their ACA policies cover?

Remember when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised transparency on abortion coverage in Affordable Care Act policies?



Specifically, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked “Can you provide for the committee the list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer as part of their package abortion coverage?”

Sebelius replied saying “I can do that sir…We should be able to do it…I know that is the plan, I will get that information…”

CNN remembers:


To date the Secretary has not provided the list discussed at the October 30 hearing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Remembering the Victims of New York's Derailment

[Page H7428]
 MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR VICTIMS OF NEW YORK'S DERAILMENT ON METRO-NORTH

  (Mr. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY of New York asked and was given permission 
to address the House for 1 minute.)
  Mr. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, 
tonight on Forest Lane in Cold Spring, my friend Jim Lovell won't be 
coming home. His children, Brooke and Jack and Finn and Hudson, the 
youngest who goes to school with my little girls in Cold Spring and who 
has played in my house, will be missing the father they love and a 
beloved member of the community because he was one of the four victims 
on the Metro-North train that derailed on Sunday.

  We all are saddened and heartbroken by this tragic event. I stand 
here with my colleagues from New York to honor the four victims and the 
dozens of injured. New York lost a devoted father in Jim Lovell; but, 
of course, we also lost a loving sister in Donna Smith from Newburgh, a 
caring nurse from Queens named Kisook Ahn, and James Ferrari, a 
hardworking husband from Montrose.

  I know my colleagues, Nita Lowey who represents Montrose and Jim 
Crowley who represents Queens and Eliot Engel who represents the 
district where the accident occurred, and I who represent two of the 
victims join with all of you in standing to offer a moment of silence 
in honor of those killed and of those injured. I ask that we do so now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ACA Lacking in Abortion Coverage Transparency

Finding out about abortion coverage on the exchanges or marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act is extremely difficult. In the 27 states that allow plans to cover elective abortion on the exchanges, it is almost impossible for consumers to identify whether or not the plan they are considering includes elective abortion.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) released information about abortion coverage in a small subset of plans called Multi-State Plans (MSPs), which are unique because their contracts are negotiated with the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Monday, October 14, 2013

What default would mean

Bishop Harry Jackson started a conversation on the meaning of potential default in America. The following is an attempt at threading that conversation into several strains of thought.




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

House Passes H.R. 1797: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Tonight the House passed the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) by a vote of 228-196. The vote breakdown was as follows:

Votes in Favor: 6 Democrats (Cuellar, Lipinski, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson and Rahall) and 222 Republicans

Votes Against: 190 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted NO(Broun, Dent, Frelinghuysen, Hanna, Runyan and Woodall)

Congressional Testimony - H.R. 1797: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

"Chairman Franks and distinguished members of the subcommittee, my name is Anthony Levatino. I am a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. I received my medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY in 1976 and completed my OB-GYN residency training at Albany Medical Center in 1980. In my 33-year career, I have been privileged to practice obstetrics and gynecology in both private and university settings. From June 1993 until September 2000, I was associate professor of OB-GYN at the Albany Medical College serving at different times as both medical student director and residency program director. I have also dedicated many years to private practice and currently operate a solo gynecology practice in Las Cruces, NM. I appreciate your kind invitation to address issues related to the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797)."

Note: The limit of this legislation to just the District of Columbia was eliminated. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would apply nationwide just as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act applies nationwide and was upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional in Gonzales v. Carhart.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

House Constitution Subcommittee Passes Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797)

Today the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) by a party line vote of 6-4.

H.R. 1797, as originally introduced would have only applied to the District of Columbia.

During the mark-up today, bill author and Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-AZ) offered a Manager's Amendment, to expand the bill to apply nationwide. The Franks Manager’s Amendment passed by a vote of 6-4.

With this change, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” will be a national prohibition on aborting pain-capable unborn children after twenty weeks gestation (post-fertilization age).

The IRS and the Coalition for Life of Iowa

Today the House Ways and Means Committee held a “Hearing with Organizations Targeted by Internal Revenue Service for Their Personal Beliefs.”

One of the witnesses was Ms. Sue Martinek, President of the Coalition for Life of Iowa (CFLI) who explained that CFLI “is a grass-roots, low-budget public charity founded in 2004, to provide prayer, education, and related activities about the sanctity of life from conception to death. Throughout our history, we have organized and sponsored educational forums and engaged in peaceful prayer activities.”

Statements from Martinek’s testimony:

Friday, May 31, 2013

H.R. 1797 - Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act update

Today the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, Chaired by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) announced they will hold a markup on H.R. 1797 on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 1 p.m. in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building.

Rep. Franks has announced he will amend his bill, the “D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797) to apply nationwide. With this change, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” will be a national prohibition on aborting pain-capable unborn children after twenty weeks gestation (post-fertilization age). This change is timely in light of the conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell and news reports of potentially similar gruesome late abortion providers around the country.

Substitute language in the form of a Manager's Amendment will be offered, Lord willing, during Tuesday’s markup to make the necessary changes to apply the bill nationwide.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Minority Leader Pelosi on "the transformative nature of the Affordable Care Act"

Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I thank him for his leadership and that of Mr. Levin and Mr. Waxman as the chairs of the three committees when this legislation, so transformative in the lives of the American people, was passed by the House of Representatives and now for coming to the floor today--I don't know what the word is--to even counter some of the ridiculousness that is being said on the other side of the aisle in relationship to the Affordable Care Act. The fact is that what's happening today is the Patients' Rights Repeal Act. That's what they want to do is repeal patients' rights.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Congressional Investigation Related to Gosnell

Since the Special Order and One-Minute Speeches in the House last month, Congressional activity related to the trial of Kermit Gosnell continues.

Recent Congressional actions to protect women and babies (born and unborn) in response to the Gosnell trial now include both House Committees and the Senate.

Friday, April 26, 2013

House One-Minute Speeches on the Gosnell Trial in the Congressional Record

Following up on the previous Special Order, eighteen Members of Congress recently went to the House Floor to speak out about abortionist Kermit Gosnell. These speeches were organized by Rep. Marlin Stuzman (R-IN) and were delivered during designated times when Members are given one minute to speak on the subject of their choice.

Full Video Playlist

Text from the Congressional Record and individual video links follow are linked below.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

House Legislative Program


[Page: H1976]  GPO's PDF
---
   Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield to my friend from Virginia, the majority leader, for the purpose of inquiring about the schedule for the week to come.

   Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman from Maryland, the Democratic whip, for yielding.
   On Monday, the House will meet at noon for morning hour and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
   On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business.
   On Thursday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes for the week are expected no later than 3 p.m.
   On Friday, no votes are expected.

   Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a few suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business today.
   In addition, we expect a robust debate next week on the importance of our Nation's cybersecurity. The House will consider a number of bipartisan bills to reduce the obstacles to voluntary information-sharing between the private sector and government, secure our Nation's infrastructure, better protect government systems, and combat foreign threats.
   A number of committees will bring bills to the floor next week, Mr. Speaker, including the Intelligence, Oversight and Government Reform, and Science Committees. In the coming months, I expect to continue to address cybersecurity legislation from additional committees, including Homeland Security and Judiciary.
   Of the bills coming to the floor, we will consider H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, under a rule. This important legislation is authored by Chairman Mike Rogers and cosponsored by Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger.

   Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for that information. I want to share his view that the cybersecurity legislation is critically important legislation. I know that there are still continuing differences with reference to the protection of individual citizens' privacy on this legislation, but I also know, as the gentleman has indicated, the critical nature of providing access and exchange of information so that we can protect Americans, protect our country, and protect our intellectual property and commercial property. So I would hope and expect that we would be working together in a bipartisan way to make sure that we can reach consensus so that we can see a bill signed.
   I want to say that I know that both you and I are pleased that Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger have been working so closely together in a bipartisan fashion to accomplish this objective.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gosnell Trial

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) led a Special Order on the floor of the House of Representatives to draw attention to abortionist Kermit Gosnell and his trial.

Gosnell is being tried for eight counts of murder. One count is for the death of an adult woman who underwent an abortion at his clinic. The other seven counts are for the deaths of newborn babies who survived their abortion, but were then killed when Gosnell or his staff “snipped” their spines.

In the words of the Grand Jury report: “Gosnell had a simple solution for unwanted babies: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it ‘ensuring fetal demise.’ The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors in the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that ‘snipping.’ Over the years there were hundreds of ‘snippings’.”

Monday, March 25, 2013

The fruits of filibuster reform

The 113th Senate passed filibuster reform in January, and in March we've already seen dramatic results of both sides of the compromise.

The first week of March Rand Paul filibustered, in the traditional standing format, the John Brennan CIA nomination for almost 13 hours bringing us #StandWithRand.

The last week of March the Senate voted for more than 13 hours on amendments and passed a budget.

And all this while avoiding nuclear winter.

Praise the Lord!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Proposed Rulemaking on HHS Mandate

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the requirement that all insurance plans cover “all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity”.

The proposed rule is being issued in response to the many faith-based institutions and religious business owners that continue to object to this mandate on grounds that it forces them to violate their deeply held religious or moral objections to some or all such coverage—especially coverage that includes the morning-after pill (Plan B) or week-after pill (ella).

The proposed rule is open for comment until April 5, 2013. It is similar to proposals rejected by pro-life leaders in the past.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Senator Kerry: Farewell to the Senate

 Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I want to begin by thanking my colleagues--all of them--for their unbelievably generous comments to me personally, in the committee, on the floor, and in the halls and at meetings over the course of the last weeks. I will always be grateful for our friendships.
   I thank my wife Teresa, who is here with us, and my entire family for their unbelievable support through this journey.
   Five times Massachusetts has voted to send me to the U.S. Senate. Yesterday, nearly three decades after the people of Massachusetts first voted me into this office, the people with whom I work in the Senate voted me out of it. As always, I accept the Senate's sound judgment.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Senate avoids nuclear winter

Senate Leaders Finalize Scaled-Back Filibuster Deal
The final details of the deal struck by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which make only minor changes to the filibuster rules in the Senate, show why leading reformers are so disappointed in the outcome.

The new rules would

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40 Years of Roe

Press Conference “40 years of Victims”
Women who are victims of abortion spoke from the heart about their private experiences at a bipartisan press conference marking the 40th year since the Roe v. Wade decision made abortion legal and paved the way for 55 million abortions. The event was jointly held by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Co-Chairs of Congressional Pro-life Caucus, and Diane Black (R-TN).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Defense Bill Defends Religious Liberty

One of President Obama’s first moves in 2013 was to sign into law the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that authorizes and prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense and other select national security programs. Yet along with his signature, President Obama issued a statement criticizing several portions of the bill—including the religious freedom protections for military chaplains and other servicemembers (Section 533).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Welcome to the 113th Congress (Senate)

Yesterday leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell welcomed senators to the 113th Congress.

   Mr. REID. Madam President, it is my pleasure to convene the 113th Congress. I welcome back all my colleagues to a place that we love, the U.S. Senate.

Welcome to the 113th Congress (House)

Yesterday the United States House of Representatives elected John Boehner of Ohio to be Speaker of the House.  Speeches from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner followed.


 The committee will retire from the Chamber to escort the Speaker-elect to the chair.
   The Sergeant at Arms announced the Speaker-elect of the House of Representatives of the 113th Congress, who was escorted to the chair by the Committee of Escort.