Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The First 100 Hours: A Summary

Introduction: This summary of the eight key points in the first hours of the new 110th Congress is an excerpt of Tim McGhee's most recent Legislative Update, which was published on Dec. 28, 2006.

Please find below the names of each issue, and the prayer points and verses we wish to pray over each one. For a full understanding of these issues, you will need to go to Tim's website.

We thank our Lord for Tim's regular contributions to our work, and we consider him a valuable member of our own CHPP team. Thanks, Tim!)

1. Congressional Operations

a. Lobbying Reform is described as "the First Order of Business" in the new Congress.

-- Pray lobbying reform passes.
--Pray the provisions regarding grassroots lobbying are not included.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one (Psalm 14:3,53:3; Romans 3:12).

b. "Pay-as-you-go" -- This is not a proposed law. This is a rule Congress intends to impose on itself to restrain how it spends money. Originally part of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, pay-as-you- go budget enforcement rules intend to halt deficit growth by not allowing any new tax cuts without spending cuts, nor new spending increases without tax increases.

--Praise the Lord for this restoration of fiscal restraint by our leaders.
Rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil (Romans 13:3).

2. 9/11 Commission Recommendations -- Committee Structure

Under the new Democratic Leadership, Congress is already declaring it will implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations for everyone except itself. From The Washington Post:

Democrats Reject Key 9/11 Panel Suggestion
"It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

-- Pray for wisdom for our leaders as they seek to fend off those who wish to destroy our freedom. • And they will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards, and live securely, when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God (Ezekiel 28:26).

3. Minimum Wage - Laws in the States

-- Pray for justice for the laborers in this country and those around world.
-- Pray that a raise in the minimum wage does not discourage teenagers from finishing high school.
-- Pray for a separate minimum wage for students under 18 that, perhaps, creates an incentive to stay in school.
The laborer is worthy of his wages (Luke 10:7, 1 Timothy 5:18).

4. Health Care - Medicare Part D (Negotiating Lower Drug Prices) and Health Savings Accounts

-- Pray that in all the discussions around health care in this country, that the end result would be that individuals would retain their liberty in decision- making about healing.
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth (Jeremiah 33:6).

5. Embryonic Stem Cell Research

We covered this issue extensively last Summer before and after President Bush cast his only veto ever (thus far) against a bill that would have shifted money away from fruitful research on mature adult stem cells and to fruitless research on immature embryonic stem cells. Please refer to those updates for extensive information on this issue.

-- Pray that Congress would vigorously fund fruitful adult stem cell research.
-- Pray that Congress would not fund life-taking embryonic stem cell research.
-- Pray that if Congress funds embryonic stem cell research that President Bush would veto it.
-- Pray that if President Bush vetoes funding for embryonic stem cell research, that there would not be enough votes in the House, nor in the Senate to override his veto.

[Hezekiah] removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah (2 Kings 18:4).
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

6. College Education, Student Loans

-- Pray that people would consider viable alternatives for their education.
-- Pray that Congress would not encourage people to go into debt.
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).

7. Energy Independence

-- Pray that the United States will find and use more home-grown sources of energy.
The energetic prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16).
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

8. Retirement

The new Congress is scheduled to address two issues related to retirement: Social Security and Medicare.

-- Pray for wisdom for our leaders.
-- Pray that America elects godly leaders in the years to come.
-- Pray that our leaders would honor God as they make those ethical, philosophical, moral, and life-and- death decisions.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in princes (Psalm 118:9).