Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

District of Columbia | May 12, 2021

Biden Administration Eliminates Religious Exemptions for Doctors

District of Columbia | May 12, 2021

Under the Biden Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has eliminated religious conscience exemptions for doctors who are forced to perform gender-alteration surgeries, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The move represents yet another crucial and widely-popular policy that was first enacted by President Donald Trump, only for Biden to reverse it. HHS announced on Monday that to overturn this policy, it would be expanding its definition of sex discrimination so that sexual preference and “gender orientation” would be included among identities that could be considered discriminated against by such a policy.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra released a statement in which he claimed that “people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination.”..

(Excerpts from the Virginia Star)

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Delaware | May 10, 2021

DE Approves Paid and Family Medical Leave

Delaware | May 10, 2021

State Sen. Sarah McBride (D-Claymont) introduced the paid family and medical leave bill last week, calling it an important social safety net.

She says she was inspired to fight for these benefits after caring for her late husband Andrew following his cancer diagnosis.

“He needed to focus on his treatment every single day in order to try to save his life and I had to be there in order to help him survive,” McBride said. “We were able to do that because of paid leave benefits.”

McBride says she was lucky to have access to paid leave from her employer, but many Delawareans aren’t as fortunate, leaving some families to choose between their health and putting food on the table.

She says the legislation would create an important safety net for Delawareans, while making the state more attractive to workers and employers.

“This would help Delaware win the competition for talent by providing this benefit and keeping up with the best practices we’re seeing increasingly among employers, but also in more and more states,” she said.

Excerpt from Delaware Public Media.

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Virginia | May 6, 2021

King George County Researching Marijuana Sales Ban

Virginia | May 6, 2021

Marijuana sales won’t be legal in Virginia until 2024, according to legalization bills passed by the General Assembly in 2021. But King George County is already moving to potentially ban sales. At its April 27 meeting, the Board of Supervisors requested County Attorney Matt Britton to research how to implement such a ban.

Chairman Ann Cupka said she had already consulted with Sheriff Chris Giles.

“I am requesting consensus of the board to direct the county attorney to investigate and report back at a future meeting the steps necessary to prohibit retail sales of marijuana in our community pursuant to House Bill 2312,” Cupka said, according to minutes of the meeting.

The BOS approved the request, and Cupka asked Britton to provide a recommendation to the BOS later in the year.

HB 2312 allows localities to determine hours, zoning, and land use rules, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Localities can also choose to hold a referendum to ban marijuana retail stores — if a majority vote in favor of the ban, the ban will take effect January 1 of the year following the referendum, according to bill text (Page 138).

However, the bill states that localities can’t ban possession, cultivation, manufacture, transportation, use, or advertising. Localities can pass ordinances banning consumption or offering to others in public, as well as banning possession or consumption on school grounds, although the new legislation already bans those activities.

The legislation is similar to legislation passed in 2019 making all Virginia localities automatically ‘wet,’ allowing alcohol sales unless a local referendum had been held to see if voters wanted to ban sales….

(Excerpts from The Virginia Star)

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District of Columbia | May 3, 2021

‘God Isn’t Done with America Yet,’ Mike Pence Says in Speech about Nation’s Future

District of Columbia | May 3, 2021

Former Vice President Mike Pence said last week he remains hopeful in the future of America and believes Republicans will re-capture the White House and Congress in the next four years. Speaking Thursday at a Columbia, S.C., event sponsored by the Palmetto Family Council, Pence criticized the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration while touting the accomplishments of the Trump-Pence White House and promoting a future conservative agenda. He encouraged people of faith to deepen their trust in God…

(Excerpt from Christian Headlines)

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District of Columbia | April 26, 2021

Biden’s 100 days

District of Columbia | April 26, 2021

Joe Biden has been president for 96 days. It seems like a lifetime. In just three months, under Biden’s presumed leadership, Democrats have threatened to pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the filibuster, abolish the Electoral College, grant statehood to Washington, D.C., federalize voting laws, and enact a labor bill that would overturn right-to-work statutes in 27 states. Democrats want unlimited power and are mobilizing all possible means to get it. On the day he took office, Biden set about dismantling every policy initiated by his predecessor. Most damaging, the president reversed President Trump’s immigration measures, setting up a humanitarian and security nightmare at our southern border.  As president, Biden has worsened race relations by frequently denouncing the United States as “systemically racist” and insulting the citizens of Georgia by foolishly declaring their legislators’ voting bill as “Jim Crow on steroids.” He has also larded his Cabinet with people like U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who claimed the “original sin of slavery weaved White supremacy into our founding documents and principles.” It almost seems as though Biden and the people around him don’t like the United States very much….

(Excerpts from Fox News)

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District of Columbia, South Carolina | April 22, 2021

Sen. Tim Scott to deliver Republicans joint address to Congress

District of Columbia, South Carolina | April 22, 2021

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will deliver his party’s response to President Biden’s joint address to Congress next week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: The pick is a big deal in the post-Trump GOP as Republicans navigate what the future of the party will look like. Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, is widely seen as a rising star in the party who is well-liked by pro-Trump Republicans as well more moderate members.

  • The selection comes as Scott is working closely with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on a potential bipartisan police reform deal in the wake of the Derek Chauvin trial.

What they’re saying: “Sen. Tim Scott is not just one of the strongest leaders in our Senate Republican conference. He is one of the most inspiring and unifying leaders in our nation. As Sen. Scott likes to say, he is living his mother’s American dream, and he has dedicated his career to creating more opportunity for our fellow citizens who need it most,” McConnell said….

(Excerpt from Axios)

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