Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

California, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey | October 25, 2021

Nancy Pelosi’s Radical Spending Bill Would Overturn Pro-Life Laws, Force Americans to Fund Abortions

California, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey | October 25, 2021

On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy hosted a roundtable on the Hyde Amendment and taxpayer funding of abortions as part of an ongoing series about the Build Back Better reconciliation bill.

Members of Congress attending the roundtable included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Representative Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), and Representative Andy Harris, M.D. (R-Md.).

The following remarks were made by Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee:

Leader McCarthy, Rep. Smith, Rep. Fischbach, Rep. Harris, thank you for this opportunity to highlight the radical abortion-expanding provisions of this multi-trillion-dollar spending spree.

I am Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, the federation of state right-to-life organizations nationwide. Since its inception, NRLC’s organizational mission has been to defend the right to life of innocent human beings. Consistent with that mission, NRLC is opposed to government funding of abortion and government subsidies for health insurance plans that cover abortion…. (Excerpts from LIFENEWS.COM)

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Maryland | September 13, 2021

Maryland Judge Dies of Apparent Suicide Before He Could Be Arrested on Charges of Child Sexual Exploitation

Maryland | September 13, 2021

Maryland state judge died by apparent suicide on Sept. 10 shortly before he was set to be arrested at his home on federal charges of sexual exploitation of a child, officials said.

Caroline County Circuit Judge Jonathan Newell, 50, was pronounced dead at 6:43 a.m. Friday morning, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

FBI agents had visited Newell’s residence to arrest him on a federal criminal complaint filed on Sept. 9, 2021. When they arrived, they found him “suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the statement said.

Maryland State Police will lead the investigation into the apparent suicide.

Newell was facing one federal charge of sexual exploitation of a child, according to court records unsealed Friday (pdf)…. (Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia | September 3, 2021

Ida death toll nears 50 as flooding pounds Northeast states; 25 dead in New Jersey, 6 missing

Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia | September 3, 2021

Nearly 50 people across multiple states have died due to flooding and extreme weather conditions in the Northeast United States caused by heavy rainfall from the remains of Hurricane Ida.

In New Jersey, at least 25 people have died, most of whom were caught in their vehicles by the flooding, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday morning. The Garden State has the most loss of life from the storm that made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday and moved northward over the week.

The extreme weather from the storm system has resulted in fatalities in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana. .. (Excerpts from the Christian Post)

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Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma | August 12, 2021

Lankford, Cotton, Harris Lead Colleagues to Demand Justice for Conscience Rights of Health Care Workers

Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma | August 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD) led a bicameral group of Senators and Congressmen in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra demanding answers on why the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped a lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC), which has received federal funds from HHS since 1998, for forcing a nurse to assist with an abortion procedure against the nurse’s registered conscience objections and in clear violation of long-standing federal law.

Under the Trump Administration, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) conducted an extensive investigation and referred the violation to the DOJ, which then filed a lawsuit in federal court. But now under the Biden Administration and the leadership of Secretary Becerra, HHS withdrew its request, and the DOJ dropped the lawsuit without any settlement or restitution.

“Your handling of this case is a profound miscarriage of justice and a rejection of your commitment to enforce federal conscience laws for Americans of all religious beliefs and creeds—and especially for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who object to abortion,” wrote the Members in their letter. “Your actions signal to employers all around the country that they don’t need to comply with the law because your agencies will not enforce it. They also signal that this administration would rather allow consciences to be violated at the behest of the abortion lobby rather enforce the law and protect religious liberty. We demand a full explanation of your agencies’ actions.”

Lankford continues to lead the Senate in standing up for the conscience rights of all Americans. In 2018 Lankford supported the creation of the HHS Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the OCR. Lankford introduced his Conscience Protection Act to protect health care providers and health insurers from government discrimination if they decline to participate in medical procedures, like abortion, that violate their consciences. This bill would also give health care providers a private right of action so that victims of abortion discrimination, like the nurse at UVMMC, can have their day in court even when the Obama and now Biden Administrations abandon their obligation to enforce the law. Lankford opposed Becerra to serve as HHS secretary in part because of his hostility toward conscience protections, including trying to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide contraception.

During Becerra’s confirmation hearings, Lankford pressed him on how he plans to protect Americans’ conscience rights and ensure faith-based entities receive fair treatment. Lankford questioned Becerra on why the department is working to eliminate the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the HHS OCR.

Joining Lankford, Cotton, and Harris in sending the letter are Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Rick Scott (R-FL),  John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Thune (R-SD), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Also joining Lankford, Cotton, and Harris are Representatives Mike Rogers (R-AL), Barry Moore (R-AL), Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), Paul Gosar, DDS (R-AZ), Debbie Lesko  (R-AZ), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Doug LaMalfa (R-AZ), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), John Rutherford (R-FL), Kat Cammack  (R-FL), W. Gregory Steube (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), Jody Hice (R-GA), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Mike Bost (R-IL), Jim Banks (R-IN), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD (R-IA), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Michael Guest (R-MS), Billy Long (R-MO), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Ted Budd (R-NC), Gregory Murphy, M.D. (R-NC), Richard Hudson  (R-NC), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Jim Jordan  (R-OH), Robert E. Latta (R-OH), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), William Timmons (R-SC), Jeff Duncan  (R-SC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Joe Wilson (R-SC), David Kustoff (R-TN), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Jodey C. Arrington (R-TX), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX), Pete Sessions  (R-TX), Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Ronny Jackson, MD (R-TX), Blake Moore (R-UT), Bob Good (R-VA), Ben Cline (R-VA), David McKinley (R-WV), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and Glenn Grothman (R-WI),

Additionally, the following groups support the letter: American Center for Law and Justice, Concerned Women for America LAC, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Family Policy Alliance, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Family Research Council, Americans United for Life, March for Life Action, Susan B. Anthony List, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life, American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, Catholic Medical Association, Coptic Medical Association of North America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Religious Freedom Institute, and Heritage Action.

You can view the full text of the letter HERE and below.

Dear Attorney General Garland and Secretary Becerra,

We write to express our concerns with your coordinated decision to seek a voluntary dismissal in the lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) for knowingly, willfully, and repeatedly violating federal conscience-protection laws…. (Excerpts from U.S. James Lankford)

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Maryland | July 21, 2021

Baltimore City Schools: 41% of high school students earn below 1.0 GPA

Maryland | July 21, 2021

BALTIMORE (WBFF) – Baltimore City Schools has reached an alarming low in student performance. Project Baltimore has learned, during the first three quarters of this year, nearly half of high school students in City Schools earned a grade point average below a D.

ALSO READ | State Delegate calls for firings as 41% of Baltimore High Schoolers earn below 1.0 GPA

ALSO READ | City student passes 3 classes in four years, ranks near top half of class with 0.13 GPA

When Jovani Patterson ran for Baltimore City Council President last year, he ran on a platform that included accountability in education.

“They take. They take. They take. Yet, despite the amount of money they get. We don’t see much change. Our schools outspend 97% of other major school districts,” Patterson said during a 2020 campaign ad….

(Excerpts from Fox 5 News)

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Maryland | June 10, 2021


Maryland | June 10, 2021

Adam Smith said, “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” He meant that a nation can withstand a great deal of incompetent governance and misguided policies.

Smith was right. There’s less ruin in a city, though, and that brings us to Baltimore

Bryan Preston of PJ Media reports that business owners in Baltimore’s Fells Point area are threatening to withhold tax payments if the city doesn’t respond to their plea for better service from the city, including its police force. More than three dozen owners signed this letter to the city’s leadership, which (sadly) includes the lawless power couple of Nick and Marilyn Mosby.

The letter states, in part:

What is happening in our front yard — the chaos and lawlessness that escalated this weekend into another night of tragic, unspeakable gun violence [note: as described in part here] — has been going on for far too long. We have struggled through a global pandemic, enduring restaurant shutdowns and mask mandates. For months, we have been holding on by a thread, waiting for daybreak, worrying whether we will make it or if we will be the next business to shutter our doors for good.

Through this adversity, at great expense to ourselves, we have sacrificed for the sake of our customers, employees, and community. We have done this because we love Fells Point and believe it represents the very best of Baltimore.

But we have reached our breaking point. Our elected leaders have closed their eyes and ears and turned their backs on our community for long enough. We are fed up and frustrated, and we now realize that nothing will change unless we demand action…

(Excerpts from Powerline)

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