On Capitol Hill This Week
Volume XV, Number 17
June 23 - 27, 2008
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (I Corinthians 15:58)
This bulletin will not be published the week of June 30 - July 4, as Congress will be in recess for the Independence Day holiday. Our next edition of "On Capitol Hill This Week" will be published on Monday, July 7, 2008.
|On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 17|
- PRESIDENT BUSH VISITS IOWA, DISCUSSES AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
- CONGRESS PASSES WAR FUNDING BILL; VETOES ABORTION FUNDING AMENDMENT
- CALL FOR ACTION: SUPPORT THE "DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT"
- IN CALIFORNIA: GOOD NEWS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
- HOUSE APPROVES INTELLIGENCE LEGISLATION
- TWO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL FOR NATIONALIZATION OF OIL INDUSTRY
- BUSH URGES CONGRESS TO LIFT OFFSHORE DRILLING BAN
- TREASURY SECRETARY URGES CONGRESS TO EXPAND FED'S POWER
- U.S. INTELLIGENCE: HIZBULLAH ATTACK IS IMMINENT WORLDWIDE
- U.S. SAYS EXERCISE BY ISRAEL SEEMED DIRECTED AT IRAN
- BEHIND THE HEADLINES: CALM IN THE SOUTH OF ISRAEL
- EUROPEAN UNION AGREES TO CLOSER RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL
1. PRESIDENT BUSH VISITS IOWA, DISCUSSES AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
President Bush got a close-up view of damage from the worst Midwest flooding in 15 years on Thursday as his administration promised funding from a multibillion- dollar disaster relief fund. "I know a lot of farmers and cattlemen are hurting right now," Bush said at an emergency center in Cedar Rapids, among the cities hit hardest by this week's flooding. "It's a tough time," he said before taking a helicopter tour of flooded areas with Iowa Gov. Chet Culver. . . During the trip to Cedar Rapids with Bush, Federal Emergency Management administrator David Paulison said the $4 billion currently in FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund should be "more than enough" to provide federal aid. (Reuters)
· Lord, as we have faced many disasters, bring these situations to cause hearts to turn toward You. Bring the comfort of the Holy Spirit to meet the enormous needs of many affected. Give power to the church to minister the help and healing needed. May salvation and blessing flow over these regions.
· "But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." ( Deut. 4:29, Ps. 9:10)
2. CONGRESS PASSES WAR FUNDING BILL; DENIES ABORTION FUNDING AMENDMENT
President George W. Bush won yet another huge victory Thursday night in the United States House of Representatives (besides the astounding victory President Bush and all our American military have won for America in Iraq and Afghanistan.) The House voted for the war supplemental bill, H.R. 2642, by a margin of 268-155 with no strings attached such as forcing withdrawal (i.e. retreat and surrender to the terrorists which most Democrat politicians want.) Not only did President Bush and our troops get that domestic victory in the House of Representatives yesterday, but the bill contained no provision to give . . . Planned Parenthood of America a discount on contraception and drugs such as the abortiffacient Plan B drug.
Congressman John Boehner was reported in yesterday's "The Washington Times" to have said before the Democrats surrender to President Bush on the war-funding issue that Democratic leaders are "shamelessly using and abusing our troops to satisfy radical constituencies who are more concerned about advancing a strategy of defeat than they are about bringing them home safely -- and after victory." Christian Coalition of America commends Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Republican Whip Roy Blunt for their great work in denying funds to these radical abortion groups and for fighting to defeat any Democrat cut, run, and surrender to terrorists legislation. (Christian Coalition of America)
· Offer praise to the Lord for this victory on two fronts: both FUNDING our troops who are serving overseas, and REFUSING TO FUND unrelated monies for Planned Parenthood. Praise the Lord.
· "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
3. CALL FOR ACTION: SUPPORT THE "DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT"
(Repeated from last week's edition of the OCAP) Christian Coalition of America is urging all Christian Coalition activists to immediately call and contact their Members of Congress to co-sponsor California Congressman Daniel Lungren's "Defense of Marriage Act" which will outlaw homosexual "marriages" all over America with a constitutional amendment. One of the reasons conservative Democrats and moderates, and even some conservative Republicans, have given for not sponsoring or voting for a federal constitutional amendment banning homosexual "marriages," is that the states are taking care of this terrible problem with actions by state legislatures or by state ballot initiatives banning such an abomination and Congress did not need to act.
However, that argument is dead, now that renegade judges legislating from the bench are dictating to the American people that there WILL BE homosexual "marriages" imposed on them. It is time for the United States Congress to finally act and to end the travesty of homosexual "marriages" once and for all time, and pass a constitutional amendment (requiring 2/3 vote in the House of Representatives and and 2/3 vote in the Senate.) Undoubtedly, 38 states required for ratification will quickly ratify this constitutional amendment and it will be enshrined in the United States Constitution.
Congressman Dan Lungren says in a letter to the other 434 Members of the House of Representatives: "This approach to the protection of marriage is expressly designed to erect a wall of separation between federal and state courts and the institution of marriage. The appropriate response to the judicial assault on marriage is to amend the Constitution of the United States."
ACTION ITEM: Please your Congressman at 202-225- 3121 or you can go to http://www.cc.org/contactcongress.cfm and email them and urge them to co-sponsor Congressman Daniel Lungren's "Defense of Marriage Act." (Christian Coalition of America)
· Capitol Hill Prayer Partners (still) agrees with the Christian Coalition on this issue. The time to act is NOW!
· "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power . . . " (Psalm 11:3 NASB)
4. IN CALIFORNIA: GOOD NEWS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
(Report from Christian Coalition of America)
There are a handful of heroic state clerks in California who refuse to abide by these repugnant "marriages" forced on California citizens. In California's Kern and Butte counties, County Clerks Ann Barnett and Candace Grubbs, declared that their offices will stop performing wedding ceremonies altogether. People will have to go to churches and synagogues, etc. to get married, which will not be a bad thing.
Candace Grubbs and Ann Barnett did not want to subject their staffs to disregard thousands of years of morality and tradition to perform these destestible "marriages." "The Los Angeles Times" reported that Ann Barnett said that standing up to the radical homosexual lobby and liberal establishment has not been easy for her and her family. Christian Coalition of America commends California County Clerks Ann Barnett and Candace Grubbs.
· Offer praise for the actions of these two County Clerks in the State of California, who are acting upon the strength of their own convictions. Pray that many others would follow their example, and "just say no" to performing same-sex "marriages."
· "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power . . . " (Psalm 11:3 NASB)
5. HOUSE APPROVES INTELLIGENCE LEGISLATION
In one of the toughest votes of the 110th Congress, the House on Friday backed a compromise that expands the government's capacity to eavesdrop without a warrant. The Senate this week is expected to do the same. At issue between the Senate and House versions is whether to grant legal immunity to telecommunication companies for their role in the secret surveillance program after the 9/11 attacks - a key White House demand. The Senate version of the bill includes immunity for telecoms. Under the terms of the House bill, a federal district court will decide whether immunity is granted. The bill would protect companies that can show they had received assurances from the executive branch that the program was legal and authorized by the president. (The Christian Science Monitor)
· Praise the Lord that this bill has been passed by Congress and that those companies that spied for terrorist behavior will not be penalized for doing so. Bipartisanship has finally worked in Congress, and America seems to be the winner. Again, praise the Lord for President Bush' steadfastness and determination to do the right thing. Keep praying for his political power as he works to govern the USA.
· "Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. . ." (1 Timothy 2:1)
6. TWO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL FOR NATIONALIZATION OF OIL INDUSTRY
Congressman John Carter, Republican from the 31st District of Texas today responded to the absolutely incredible calls of House Democrats to nationalize or "socialize" (in the words of one Democrat Congresswoman) America's energy production. Congressman Carter said: "If Democrats in Congress think it is a wise move to socialize our energy supply, Americans need to look no further than Hugo Chavez to see an example of what is to come for our country. This proposal is clearly wrong and goes against every principle of freedom and democracy that defines our great nation. Liberals have made their intentions known, and frightening as they are, you can bet that I will be fighting these proposals every step of the way."
Congressman Carter went on to say that: "Yesterday, in a Washington Examiner editorial piece, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) said, "We [the government] should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market." He then added that "Fox News reported that Rep. Maxine Waters (D- CA) said to oil industry executives, "Guess what this liberal will be about? This liberal will be all about socializing-um, uh . . . will be about . . . basically . . . taking over, and the government running all of your companies." (Christian Coalition of America)
· Easy does it! There is much more to this complex issue than meets the eye, and "quick fixes" like this may not be the wisest course. PRAY!
· "Pray without ceasing . . ." (I Thess. 5:17)
7. BUSH URGES CONGRESS TO LIFT OFFSHORE DRILLING BAN
President Bush, on Wednesday, put his weight behind a move underfoot in Congress to lift a 27-year-old ban on oil exploration off U.S. shores as gasoline prices reach ever higher, and he cast blame on Democrats for Americans' pain at the pump in an election year that is focusing more heavily on economic issues. The President also laid out three other options: he renewed his call to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration; he also said the country must be committed to development of oil shale - a type of rock that can yield petroleum if heated, for instance - in the western United States; and he said there must be more refinery capacity.
Bush admitted his proposals "will take years to have their full impact" but he said that rather than it being an excuse for delay, "it's a reason to move swiftly" and called on Congress to lift the moratorium by the July 4 recess. His remarks echoed a call by GOP presidential candidate John McCain for off-shore drilling this week. (Fox News) · Last week, we asked prayer for support to grow towards the passage of this bill in Congress; H.R. 6107, the "American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act," sponsored by Rep. Dan Young. We are pleased to report that a whopping 75 members of Congress have signed onto this bill in the past week, bringing the total of cosponsors to 150. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE PASSAGE OF THIS MUCH-NEEDED BILL IN CONGRESS.
· "The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
8. TREASURY SECRETARY URGES CONGRESS TO EXPAND FED'S POWER
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Thursday that the Federal Reserve should be given sweeping new powers to protect the integrity of the financial system, contending that this year's market turmoil has exposed a badly outdated regulatory system. Acknowledging that debate on the issue in Congress would take time, Paulson said the discussion should begin without delay because the stakes for the financial system are so high. "We should quickly consider how to most appropriately give the Fed the authority to access necessary information from highly complex financial institutions and the responsibility to intervene to protect the system so they can carry out the role our nation has come to expect - stabilizing the overall system when it is threatened," he said in a speech to a women's banking group in Washington.
Paulson said the near-collapse of Bear Stearns, once the country's fifth-largest investment bank, had "placed in stark relief the outdated nature of our financial regulatory system."
The Fed moved in March - as Bear Stearns teetered on the brink of collapse - to provide $30 billion to facilitate the sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and for the first time to begin lending money to other investment banks, something it has continued to do as it fights to calm financial markets in the wake of a severe credit crisis. Paulson said the country had come to rely on the Fed in times of crisis, citing the central bank's actions to broker a rescue of giant hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in 1998 during the Asian currency crisis and the Bear Stearns episode this year.
"Our nation has come to expect the Federal Reserve to step in to avert events that pose unacceptable systemic risk," Paulson said. "But, as we noted in our blueprint, the Fed has neither the clear statutory authority nor the mandate to anticipate and deal with risk across our entire financial system."
Fed officials have said they must continue to have day- to-day supervision of commercial banks to monitor the banking system's health. (Associated Press)
· This matter must be bathed in much prayer. Is it wise to give so much authority to one regulatory agency? Remember the the Federal Reserve Board is not regulated by Congress and really answers to no one. The Lord, who owns all the wealth of the world, knows what is best for the financial security of the USA, and He should be given the authority to determine our finances. Pray very seriously about this matter.
· "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore. Remember His marvelous works which He has done . . ." (Psalm 105: 4,5a)
9. U.S. INTELLIGENCE: HIZBULLAH ATTACK IS IMMINENT WORLDWIDE
ABC News reported yesterday that Canadian, British and American intelligence agencies are very concerned that a significant terrorist attack may soon take place. Hezbollah "sleeper cells" have reportedly been activated in Canada, and terrorist operatives have been tracked moving from Lebanon to Canada, Europe and Africa. According to ABC, "a known Hezbollah weapons expert was followed to Canada, where he was seen at a firing range south of Toronto, near the U.S. border." In addition, family members of Canadian "sleeper cell" operatives have reportedly been ordered to return home.
Intelligence officials indicated that various Jewish targets, including synagogues in Toronto and the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, have been objects of terrorist surveillance. Counterterrorism officials speculate that the planned attack could be revenge for the February assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, one of Hezbollah's most wanted terrorist leaders. Bob Baer, a former CIA intelligence officer, told ABC News, "Hezbollah would not carry out an attack in the West, or wherever this attack is going to occur, without approval from Tehran." In fact, ABC also reported that intelligence officials believe these recent Hezbollah activities "were being coordinated with the help of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards." (Gary Bauer)
· Friends of ours who are inside the intelligence community have confirmed this report, and are asking for PRAYER that these sleeper cells be found, and that their plans be dismantled. Pray accordingly for ALL IN AUTHORITY. May they not miss ANY unusual signal that would alert them to uncover these wicked schemes . . . Pray that the LORD GOD Himself would "terrorize" them unto salvation!
· "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God." (Hebrews 10:31) "He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them." (Job 5:12,13)
10. U.S. SAYS EXERCISE BY ISRAEL SEEMED DIRECTED AT IRAN
Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military's capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran's nuclear program. More than 100 Israeli F- 16 and F-15 fighters participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece during the first week of June, American officials said. The exercise also included Israeli helicopters that could be used to rescue downed pilots. The helicopters and refueling tankers flew more than 900 miles, which is about the same distance between Israel and Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, American officials said.
Israeli officials declined to discuss the details of the exercise. A spokesman for the Israeli military would say only that the country's air force "regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel." But the scope of the Israeli exercise virtually guaranteed that it would be noticed by American and other foreign intelligence agencies. A senior Pentagon official who has been briefed on the exercise, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the political delicacy of the matter, said the exercise appeared to serve multiple purposes.
One Israeli goal, the Pentagon official said, was to practice flight tactics, aerial refueling and all other details of a possible strike against Iran's nuclear installations and its long-range conventional missiles. A second, the official said, was to send a clear message to the United States and other countries that Israel was prepared to act militarily if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from producing bomb-grade uranium continued to falter. "They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know," the Pentagon official said. "There's a lot of signaling going on at different levels."
Iran has shown signs that it is taking the Israeli warnings seriously, by beefing up its air defenses in recent weeks, including increasing air patrols. In one instance, Iran scrambled F-4 jets to double-check an Iraqi civilian flight from Baghdad to Tehran. "They are clearly nervous about this and have their air defense on guard," a Bush administration official said of the Iranians. (Jerusalem Post and The International Herald Tribune)
· Praise the Lord for the boldness and courage of the Israelis in their readiness to attack their enemies. Undergird their determination with your prayers of support against this "mad" regime that now rules Iran. Pray that all airplanes, support personnel, and other necessary machinery all work perfectly and that no lives are lost, should an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities take place.
· "Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!" ((Psalm 43:1)
11. BEHIND THE HEADLINES: CALM IN THE SOUTH OF ISRAEL
As a result of Hamas's difficulties in dealing with Israeli pressure placed on the terrorist group, as well as with IDF activity, an Egyptian proposal came about that would end terrorism from the Gaza Strip and the resulting Israeli military operations. This proposal was not a result of Israeli negotiations with Hamas. Rather, all contacts on this matter were with the government of Egypt. The Israeli position regarding Hamas as a terror organization has not changed one iota. The Egyptian initiative does not bestow any legitimacy on Hamas, and Israel will continue to press for the justified isolation of Hamas by the international community.
The Egyptian initiative led to a "state of calm," which began on Thursday, 19 June 2008. The goals of the calm are the total cessation of terrorism and firing at Israel by all factions, the end of Palestinian smuggling and military build-up, and progress in securing the release of the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. If quiet is restored to the southern part of the country, Israel will increase the amount and scope of goods that enter the Gaza Strip, leading to an improved quality of life for the Palestinian civilian population.
Israel will be closely monitoring the situation to insure that the proposal is being implemented in full on the ground. Results on the ground will serve as the test that determines whether this initiative has been successful. Any terrorist act originating from the Gaza Strip - regardless of which organization is responsible - will be considered as a fundamental breach of the understandings. Israel will hold Hamas responsible for the violations and their consequences. Israel hopes that calm will be achieved, but it will respond to every infraction. Due to the many doubts and uncertainties surrounding the proposed calm, Israel has other options prepared.
Israel is aware the calm is likely to be fragile and short-lived but believes in the importance of exhausting every avenue leading to a non-violent solution to the problem of Gaza. Israel could have launched a military action to deal with the Gazan terrorism but instead chose the de-facto calm. It does so in the hope the calm will end the terror attacks emanating from Gaza, preventing any further violence that will cause bloodshed among Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Israel takes the Egyptian initiative seriously and very much wants it to succeed.
For other related information please visit the website of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs at www.mfa.gov.il (Embassy of Israel - Washington, D. C.)
· Pray for a long-lasting calm for this truce - needed by the exhausted Israelis dealing daily with rockets landing in their villages and cities. Also, the average Palestinians are hurting from the attacks incurred by their fellow terrorists. No matter the motives of the Egyptians, give praise to the Lord for their efforts to bring calm to this volatile situation.
· "And the Lord,' He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you: do not fear nor be dismayed.'" (Deuteronomy 31:8)
12. EUROPEAN UNION AGREES TO CLOSER RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL
EU foreign ministers have agreed to upgrade the bloc's relations with Israel. The 27-nation bloc wants to improve ties with Israel, satisfying a long-standing request from Jerusalem. "The European Union is determined to develop a closer partnership with Israel," the ministers said in a statement. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was to finalize the deal in talks with her European counterparts in Luxembourg. The Palestinian Authority had urged the EU to put off any upgrade because of Israel's policies in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza Strip. EU foreign ministers said the upgraded ties with Israel should include a framework for "the resolution of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict through the implementation of the two-state solution." Israel currently has an "association agreement" with the EU setting out a schedule of political meetings, regulating trade ties and cooperating in areas from internal security to education. (By Staff, World Jewish Congress, June 17, 2008)
[Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Praise God for this exceptional recognition of Israel by the EU. Pray there will not be "strings attached" that cause Israel to have to comply with stringent, controlling expectations.
· "Moreover they did not require an account from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be paid to workmen, for they dealt faithfully." (2 Kings 12:15)
|This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .|
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
GOD OF JACOB (Ehlohay Yahahkov)
"May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you." (Psalm 20:1)
There is only One who knows my thoughts, who hears my heart, who can answer my prayers. The same God who led Jacob is the same God who leads me. There is much comfort in knowing You, Ehlohay Yahahkov.
(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)
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On Capitol Hill This Week (the "OCAP") is published by Capitol Hill Prayer Partners. All scriptures are quoted from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted. For further information about legislative matters on Capitol Hill, you may call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative or senator of your choice.
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Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (I Timothy 2:1,2 NKJV)