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Saturday, April 30, 2022

In Context: Spending as Leverage

Annual appropriations requests are under consideration in committee and talks have begun on fiscal year 2023 spending levels.

Other items for additional beyond-budget spending include more Ukraine aid and coronavirus response. There is bipartisan agreement for the former, and not so much for the latter.

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

Senate confirms liberal favorite Lael Brainard as Fed’s new vice chairwoman, COVID-19 trips Democrats on Cook vote

Senate Democrats block overturning of Biden's pro-abortion Title X rule49-49

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Schumer ties religious liberty to government spending

During his daily Senate floor leader remarks on Tuesday, Majority Leader Schumer made another pitch for additional COVID funding as a “must-have” and “something our Nation cannot possibly afford to go without.” He claimed, “another round of COVID funding” is “The answer to avoiding another shutdown of our communities”.

He further emphasized the point saying, “Let me say it again. If we want to keep life as close to normal down the line, if we want to keep schools and churches and businesses open if, God forbid, another aggressive variant arises, Republicans should work with us to approve more money for vaccines, testing, and lifesaving therapeutics.”

What if God doesn't forbid? If “another aggressive variant arises,” then does that mean the Democrats are ready to once again bring on “another shutdown of our communities” including closing “schools and churches and businesses”?

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Senate Democrats block overturning of Biden's pro-abortion Title X rule in 49-49 vote

Senate Republicans, led by Sen.Marco Rubio, orchestrated a procedural maneuver in the Democrat-controlled Senate to force a vote on S.J.Res.41, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Biden Administration’s 2021 final rule on the Title X Family Planning Program.

The motion failed by a tied vote of 49-49:  

  • 48 Senate Republicans voted yes, joined by Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.
  • 47 Senate Democrats voted no, joined by Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
  • Democrat Senators Chris Murphy and Ron Wyden were absent and did not vote.

The Biden Title X rule defies the law, which states clearly that Title X funds shall not “be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning”, and siphons tens of millions of taxpayer dollars annually in Title X funding towards abortion provider Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

Enactment of this resolution would have overturned the 2021 Biden rule, reinstated the Trump Administration’s 2019 Protect Life Rule, and prevented any future administration from reissuing the 2021 Biden rule.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

In Context: Questions to go beyond churnalism

Screenwriter Nora Ephron told a story of a journalism class activity in which the students were assigned to write a headline and article for the school newspaper based on a dry announcement about an upcoming teacher in-service meeting. After the students rewrote the update in their own words, the teacher trashed all their articles and then announced, “Here's your headline: There's No School on Thursday!”

Many reporters today are still taking what they're given, rearranging the words, and basically posting someone else's press release with their news organization's masthead instead. This practice has a name: churnalism. An easy way to spot the difference is if quotes are “said in a statement” (churnalism) or “said in an interview” (journalism).

Weekly Congress Update

National Security

New requests bring military’s ‘unfunded priorities’ above $21 billion

Foreign Policy

Senators visiting Poland, India, Germany to rally Ukraine support

Republicans call on Blinken to reopen Kyiv embassy

Ukrainian prime minister to meet with Pelosi

McCarthy ramps up Ukraine blame game with Biden

Rubio pushes White House on bill to establish space debris sanctions — S. 3925


Biden faces deepening Democratic riftmutiny • Democrats pressure Biden to back off Title 42 decision • Sen. Sinema says Title 42 decision is inconsistent with mask extension • Ten Democrats joining Republicans in opposing Biden's plan • 7 More House Democrats Can Help Stop The Looming Border Catastrophe • Congress Tries Last-Ditch Effort to Keep Title 42 in Place — H.R. 7458

20 House Republicans Demand ICE Data on Arrests, Deportations Withheld by Biden

Saturday, April 9, 2022

In Context: Building for Eternity

This year Good Friday and Tax Day are the same day.

It’s easy to mistake one as being about eternal things, and the other as only being about temporary things. In truth, both can be about eternal things.

In the well-known passage about eternal rewards Paul wrote to the Corinthians, actions with the wood, hay, and straw can have as much of a possibility of lasting for eternity as actions with the gold, silver, and precious stones. The difference is in the foundation on which we are building—Jesus Christ.

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

Senate confirms Jackson to Supreme Court53-47

Senate votes 100-0 to limit trade with Russia100-0, 100-0

S. 2123, Pray Safe Act, passes — directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a Federal Clearinghouse on Safety and Security Best Practices for Faith-Based Organizations and Houses of Worship

GOP blocks advancing COVID-19 deal amid COVID-era immigration fight47-52

Senate floor reading of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail

HouseWeekly Leader ColloquyBills • Actions passed

House passes bill to document Russian war crimes in UkraineH.R. 7276, 418-7Six Republicans voted against potentially undermining American sovereignty

House suspends trade relations with Russia, BelarusH.R. 7108, H.R. 6968

House passes bill to provide relief to restaurants impacted by pandemicH.R. 3807

House passes bill to facilitate medical marijuana researchH.R. 5657

House votes to hold Navarro and Scavino in contempt of Congress220-203

Saturday, April 2, 2022

In Context: Value for a self-governed People

2022 is a U.S. mid-term election year. Americans are correct and do well to take stock of the country, and compare how well their governments are punishing those who do evil and praising those who do good (Romans 13:3-4, 1 Peter 2:14). If they are, reelection of officeholders may be in order, and if they're not, electing others to office instead may be wise.

This year's election may not be “the most important election of our lifetimes.” (We've had several of those in the last decade or two.) It could, however, be one of the most contentious.

Pollsters make a living measuring the level of comity or contention among the people. Questions about the national mood, direction of the country, approval of the President, and approval of Congress are never in short supply. UPI recently reported on a Gallup poll showing “The job approval rating for the U.S. Congress remained low in March with 21% of Americans approving of lawmakers' performance.”

The question is, How useful is it to “approve” or “disapprove” of Congress?

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

Cook inches toward Fed as Senate votes to discharge nomination50-49

Senate rejects Biden Labor nominee amid Democratic opposition47-53

Senate Moves Forward with Alvaro Bedoya’s FTC Confirmation50-50

HouseWeekly Leader ColloquyBills • Actions passed

House passes bill to honor Ginsburg and O'Connor with statuesS. 3294

House passes bill to bolster reporting of sexual assaults on public transitH.R. 5706

House Passes Bill to Limit Price of Insulin, Republicans Object to ‘Government Drug-Pricing’H.R. 6833

House votes to decriminalize marijuana at federal levelH.R. 3617

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