Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nothing New, Everything All at Once

Nothing New, Everything All at Once

CHPP Legislative Update
July 17, 2007

Arise, cry aloud in the night At the beginning of the night watches;
Pour out your heart like water Before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him For the life of your little ones

(Lamentations 2:19).

CHPP is publishing this Legislative Update in place of "On Capitol Hill This Week."

Special note: Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee convenes to examine the controversial prosecution of two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who shot an unarmed Mexican drug trafficker.

  • Pray for justice.

You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute (Exodus 23:6).

Since our last update, neither chamber of Congress has done much. After the week of the July 4th recess, the House took a break from appropriations, and the Senate voted on a handful of amendments to the defense authorization bill.

This week, the House resumes its work on the FY2008 appropriations bills, and the Senate picks up where it left off on the defense authorization.

The House is expected to continue its work on appropriations. The majority has expressed its intentions to continue bringing various "facet[s] of our policy in Iraq" up for votes. They also hope to vote on an energy bill prior to the August recess.

In the Senate, Senators Kennedy and Gordon have filed the hate crimes bill as an amendment to the defense authorization bill. The amendment has not been "attached" to the bill or acted on by the Senate yet in any way. It's not on the Senate's schedule and no senator is pushing to have it considered. It is only one of more than 200 amendments that have been filed. That said, it's just one unanimous consent request away from becoming part of the bill.

  • Pray that this amendment stays just as it is as nothing more than one of many amendments that will never see the light of day on the Senate floor.

He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble (Isaiah 40:24).

The Senate intends to finish the defense authorization bill this week, and then move to either government health insurance for children or a college student debt bill. The Senate also hopes to begin moving on appropriations bills before the August break.

One particularly troubling move in the Senate is that a provision known as Kemp-Kasten has been excluded from the working version of the State, Foreign Operations appropriations bill. This is the language that allows the President to discontinue funding to organizations that support or participate in the management of a coercive abortion program. It's bad enough to use public funds to pay for elective abortion procedures. It's especially brazen when the majority is pushing to fund abortions forced on a woman against her will. What about "choice" then?

  • Pray the President holds firm in his promise to stand up for pro-life policies like Kemp-Kasten and to veto any legislation that undermines those bills.
  • This also applies to not expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research.
  • Pray that ethical stem cell research such as the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) program would be fully funded (the budget-neutral Smith/Davis Amendment).

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

Segments: House Only Senate Only
Future Only House Senate