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Saturday, May 28, 2022

In Context: Correlating Strength to its Source

The Word of God shows a correlation between the strength of a people and the blessing of God upon a people. “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

One of the manifestations of God's strength for a People is their ability to arm themselves. This can be seen throughout the Scriptures all the way back in Genesis 14:14 when Abraham armed 318 men so they could reclaim his captive brother.

God does not always send blessings. Just as God fulfills his promises to bring good things on His People, when they leave Him and serve other gods, God also fulfills his promises to bring harmful things upon His People, up to and including total displacement from the Promised Land (Joshua 23:14-16).

When people turn to other gods, and those gods fail to deliver them, they end up oppressed. One of the first steps to oppressing people is disarming them. That's how the Philistines were able to oppress Israel: “Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ‘Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears’” (1 Samuel 13:19). Further, the Philistines heavily regulated anything the people of Israel could do by which they could circumvent the ban on anything that could be used as military-style assault weapons (1 Samuel 13:20-21).

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

Senate Republicans block domestic terrorism bill (H.R. 350) • Majority Leader Schumer was correct to point out that a similar bill (H.R. 5602) passed the House by voice vote two years ago during a different administration. • Now, after seeing new attempts to reach for excessive executive power, Sen. Hawley says: “It’s like the disinformation board on steroids. …the Patriot Act for American citizens”

Saturday, May 21, 2022

In Context: Nations Reciprocating Freedom

Sometimes, in the midst of heated national debate or controversy, it's helpful to take a step back to remember our history and be grateful for how God has blessed this Nation.

One such occasion that naturally prompts reflection is when a leader of another nation comes to ours, meets with our leaders, and shares words with them in a formal address. This past week brought exactly that with the visit and address to Congress by His Excellency Kyriakos Mitsotakis from Greece. The “elected leader of the people who created democracy” addressed “the elected Representatives of the people who founded their country on the Greek model.”

Freedom is something to celebrate: “The birth of democracy in ancient Athens brought about an explosion of the creative spirit in Greece that produced the architecture, the art, the drama, and the philosophy that have shaped Western civilization ever since. The establishment of democracy in the United States has brought about the greatest expansion of human freedom and human progress the world has ever known. Ladies and gentlemen, last year, Greece celebrated 200 years since the beginning of our war of independence. And in a very strange but interesting twist of historical fate, it was the Greek people who were inspired by the foundation of American democracy when they rose against their oppressor to fight for their own freedom.”

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Report

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined
Legislative Session

Senate passes $40 billion Ukraine aid packagePaul says opposition is 'common sense'

Senate blocks $48 billion aid package for restaurants, other small businesses

Executive Session

Senate confirms Brink as new US ambassador to Ukraine

HouseWeekly Leader ColloquyBills • Actions passed

Joint Meeting to hear an address by His Excellency Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

House passes bills to address baby formula shortage (H.R. 7791, H.R. 7790)

House passes domestic terrorism bill in mostly party-line vote (H.R. 350)

House passes gasoline price-gouging bill (H.R. 7688) • Moderates lukewarm

Suspension of the Rules

House unanimous on measure condemning antisemitism, apart from one GOP no vote

Saturday, May 14, 2022

In Context: Small Things

On Tuesday, 5/3, there was a curious entry in the daily Senate floor log of Senator floor speeches:
3:52 p.m. Senator Durbin spoke on abortion and microchips.
In his speech, he noted things on the two separate topics such as:
  • Last December, a report from Harvard warned that China is now a "Full-spectrum peer competitor" when it comes to advanced technology like AI and quantum computing.
  • We have become dangerously dependent on China and other competitors when it comes to securing our supply chain with microchips.
  • The Supreme Court found the right to privacy by combining the rights of several other different amendments.
There's much that can be said on both topics, and much has. Abortion has become an unusually frequent topic in the Congressional Record for the last two weeks.

Both unborn children and microchips are small and of large value. One is a precious tiny human being made by God. The other is a tiny calculator made by man.

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

McConnell criticizes protests outside justices' homes (Full Speech) • Senate passes security bill for Supreme Court family members, as protesters harass their homes

Bipartisan Majority Rejects Radical Abortion Bill Pushed By Senate Democrats (S. 4132) • Democrats fail to codify Roeradical abortion bill would go far beyond Roe, risks health of baby and motherSenate GOP, Manchin block abortion rights legislation49 Senate Democrats Vote for Extreme Abortion BillDemocrats' bad mathWhat comes nextThe weird media-Democratic disinformation campaign on the Senate abortion vote

Rand Paul objection delays $40 billion Ukraine aid package (H.R. 7691Debate) • Rand Paul was right to insist on fiscal accountability for Ukrainian aid bill

Confirmations: Powell to second term as Fed chairmanFed nominee Lisa Cook FTC nominee boosting Biden anti-Big Tech agenda

HouseWeekly Leader ColloquyBills • Actions passed

House passes bill awarding Congressional Gold Medal to chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg TrialsH.R. 6015

$40B emergency funding bill for Ukraine passes House (H.R. 7691368-57) • 57 Republicans vote ‘no’What's included in the Ukraine aid bill?billions for Pentagon, arms makersZelensky thanks Pelosi, House for passing Ukraine aid measure

House passes four bills rebuking Russia and Belarus, supporting Ukraine despite some GOP opposition (H.R. 6891, H.R. 7081, H.R. 7066, H.R. 6899) • two Republicans voted against

House passes bill to protect seniors from scams H.R. 5914

House passes bill to improve working conditions for TSA employeesH.R. 903

House votes to allow staffers to unionize, approves resolutionH.Res. 1097

Saturday, May 7, 2022

In Context: Preparing for Mourning

Much of the oxygen in Washington this week has been consumed by the firestorm from the Supreme Court of the United States that it is possibly set to find that Roe (1973) and Casey (1992) were wrongly decided. One side is angry. The other side is waiting. Both sides need to prepare for mourning the needless loss of so many millions of lives.

In war, even in victory, there is the loss of those who do not make it home. After World War II, the magnitude and scale of The Holocaust took time to be understood. If ever there were a need for empathy today, it's to understand the scale of a half-century tragedy that is now an order of magnitude larger than that.

Majority Leader Schumer has announced his intention for the Senate to vote on continuing the current legal status of abortion in this Nation next week. He said, “Next week's vote will be one of the most important we ever take…” This may be more true than he knows. What if it's important, not just because it's about “personal and difficult decisions,” but because it's one of the last moment's God is giving this Nation to turn away from the evil of shedding innocent blood in the womb?

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined, summarized

Related Headlines:

Senate votes to overturn Biden rule masking 2-year-oldsS.J.Res. 39, 55-41

U.S. lawmakers to open formal chips, China bill negotiations (H.R. 4521) • U.S. Congress edges toward massive China competition bill with votes on Iran, energy (Debate) • 62 senators, including 16 Democrats, vote to oppose nuclear-only Iran deal (62-33) • Senate agrees to motion blocking a climate national emergency declaration (49-47) • Senate passes motion to stop gain-of-function research funding in ChinaJoe Manchin joins with Tom Cotton to reroute $8 billion in climate funds to weapons systems (50-44) • Senate Democrats join with Republicans to vote down Bernie Sanders' effort to stop outsourcing (6-87) • Senate Defeats Effort to Scrap Second HLS (17-78) • Senate Conferees Get Marching Orders for USICA/COMPETES Negotiations

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