Monday, May 5, 2008

On Capitol Hill This Week - May 5 - 9, 2008

On Capitol Hill This Week

Volume XV, Number 11

May 5 - 9, 2008

". . . the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" (Isaiah 30:18)

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 11



Saying that he hoped there would one day be an international day of prayer, President Bush marked the 20th annual National Day of Prayer at ceremonies held Thursday at the White House.

"As we pray for God's continued blessings on our country, I think it makes sense to hope that one day there may be an International Day of Prayer," Bush said during his eighth and final appearance at the prayer ceremony. "It will be a chance for people of faith around the world to stop at the same time to pause to praise an Almighty," he added.

The president thanked the American people for praying for him over the last eight years. Without those prayers, Bush candidly admitted, he would not have made it through the "turbulent years" of his presidency. "I may have been a little hardheaded at times, but I'm absolutely convinced it was the prayers of the people who helped me (understand) in turbulence you can find calm and strength," Bush said to the assembled audience of clergy and lay leaders from many faiths. (

· Offer praise unto the Lord for the strong support that President Bush has extended to the National Day of Prayer during his eight years in office. And may others, too, catch the vision of birthing an INTERNATIONAL Day of Prayer, in which all nations might pause to thank THE Almighty for the blessings He bestows upon us.

· "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 150:6)


On Thursday, May 1, the United States House of Representatives almost unanimously approved a bill to bar employers and insurance companies from discriminating against individuals based either on their own genetic information or their family members' genetic information. Such genetic tests could lead to the abortion of unborn children with Down Syndrome; some 80% of these unborn babies are killed by abortionists each year. Employers will no longer be able to make hiring or promotion or assignment decisions based on genetic tests. Additionally, health insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate in enrollment or premium decisions based on the results of genetic tests.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was passed 95-0 by the United States Senate (as S. 358); and in the House as H.R. 1424, with only Congressman Ron Paul, R-TX, voting no. The bill is on its way to President Bush for his signature. (Christian Coalition of America)

· Offer a great chorus of PRAISE for the passage of this bill, which was passed on the National Day of Prayer. Praise God!

· "Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!" (Psalm 103:22)


On March 10th, we reported that two conservative members of the U.S. Senate had anonymously placed a hold on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) global poverty bill. The effort was an attempt to slow down the progress of the bill (S. 2433) that conservative analysts say could eventually force the U.S. to increase its foreign aid by hundreds of billions of dollars. Officially, S. 2433 declares it to be U.S. policy to help reduce global poverty and eliminate extreme global poverty. It also commits the U.S. to achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme global poverty in half by 2015 and directs the president to create a strategy to help reduce global poverty.

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, a conservative media watchdog, said S. 2433 has been getting "a pass" from Congress. It received absolutely no scrutiny in the House last fall, when it was passed on a voice vote, and no scrutiny last week in the Senate, when the Foreign Relations Committee also passed it on a voice vote. "They never held any hearings on this bill in either body - none whatsoever," said Kincaid. "They never heard from people like me, who monitor the U.N. for a living, about what was in it and what it means. You can be sure that people in the foreign aid lobby completely understand what's in it." A congressional source on Capitol Hill told Cybercast News Service that the bill came attached to a mammoth 3,000-page piece of legislation at the end of the legislative session, meaning that congressmen barely had time to even read the overall legislation before voting on the bill -- and there was no way to target specific line items.

The legislation had been languishing in the Senate, but Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-Del.) placed it on a fast-track in recent weeks as Obama's presidential campaign started heating up. The Illinois Democrat praised Biden and the committee's ranking Republican, Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, for "moving so quickly." Obama is the chief Senate sponsor of the bill. "For years, America has committed to improving the lives of the world's poorest people," Obama said in a statement. "In 2000, the U.S. joined more than 180 countries at the United Nations Millennium Summit and vowed to reduce global poverty by 2015. We are halfway towards this deadline, and it is time the United States makes it a priority of our foreign policy to meet this goal and help those who are struggling day to day," he added. (

Newsmax now reports that this 'hold" has been lifted and S. 2433 was placed on the Senate Calendar on April 24th. This means that it could come up for a vote at any time now. Please call your own senators and ask them to vote NO on S. 2433 when it comes up for a floor vote in the Senate. Thank you!

· LORD, we lift this bill to You; on the surface, it looks like a good thing but it is what's under the surface that we must be aware of. We pray for the hidden things to be exposed and for truth to prevail. We all want to help eliminate the suffering of the poor, but is this really the way? Is this not yet another attempt to make the world dependent on the United States, or more realistically, closer to the one world order? We pray for You to give wisdom and understanding to the believers You have placed in Congress, and grow them into maturity, that they may discern these things and do the work You sent them to do! This is more complicated than we can fathom, so we ask YOU, LORD GOD, to intervene in the mighty name of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask for the DEFEAT of S. 2433, in Jesus' Name, amen!

· "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but he who is hasty comes surely to poverty." (Proverbs 21:5)
· ". . . prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there . . . by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming." (Ephesians 4:12-14)
· "This far you may come but no further, and here shall your proud waves be stopped!" (Job 38:11)


Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin (D-MI), disclosed last week that he will use the Defense Authorization Bill to expand Federal Hate Crimes Laws, adding homosexuals to the list of groups given special protection under federal law. Groups now covered are characterized by what they cannot change - skin color, ethnicity, handicap, etc. This new class is characterized by sexual behavior and lifestyle choices that Scripture calls an "abomination." But homosexual activists have made it clear that they intend to silence all preaching against the sin of homosexuality. (Family Research Council Prayer Targets)

· God, INTERVENE! Open the eyes of the American people! Defeat plans to pass federal hate crimes laws, an Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and other measures that make homosexuals a special protected class. Reverse such laws in states where they have already been passed and restore righteousness to our nation. May moral purity be restored to our churches and especially our Christian youth. May our youth boldly proclaim the word of God and so become powerful salt and light in our needy culture!

· "He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success." (Job 5:12)


(Please find below excerpts from an article about this bill by Henry Lamb now posted on WorldNetDaily. To read the article in its entirety, go here: fa=PAGE.view&pageId=63207.)

A bill now before Congress, H.R. 2421, will give the federal government absolute control over all sources of production. This bill, if enacted, will give to the federal government control over all water in the United States, and control over all ". . . activities affecting these waters." Water is essential in the production of virtually everything. If the government controls water, and all "activities affecting these waters," then the government controls the sources of production.

There is absolutely no need for the government to take this draconian step. Water is already regulated far beyond necessity. The control and regulation of water has stripped property rights from people in every state - often for no definable public benefit. This bill will destroy the last vestige of the idea of private property rights.. . . Historically, Americans rallied behind whatever effort it took to keep socialism from overtaking this nation. Now, Congress is moving rapidly toward enacting a law that will effectively embrace socialism.

Listen carefully to the candidates for every office, and reject those who campaign for more government programs and more government control. Identify those in the city council, county commission and in the state legislatures who vote for expanded government control - and vote for their opponents (if they advocate more freedom). Look at the list of cosponsors of H.R. 2421, and tell them to vote against this socialist bill. Read the bill yourself, and don't let your representative tell you that it doesn't expand government power over all "activities affecting these waters."

This bill is expected to see floor action within the next several weeks. If it is enacted, it will not likely ever be undone. Once government gets its hands on new power, it is never relinquished. In the House, H.R. 2421 was introduced by Rep Oberstar James L. (D- MN) and currently lists 176 cosponsors. A parallel bill has been introduced in the Senate as S. 1870 by Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) and currently lists 20 Cosponsors. For more information on both bills, visit the Library of Congress legislative site by going here: d110:HR02421:

· Pray that the momentum towards passage of both these bills would grind to a halt, and that the original balance of power between the states and the federal government be restored. Man may make his plans, but the Spirit of the Most High God has the final say-so.

· "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us." (Isaiah 8:10)


John Shadegg (R-AZ) has reintroduced H.R. 1359, the "Enumerated Powers Act", a bill that highlights the importance of the Tenth Amendment and forces a continual reexamination of the role of the federal government. The Enumerated Powers Act would require Members of Congress to include an explicit statement of Constitutional authority into each bill that is introduced. It would hold Congress accountable for its actions. The language is simple: "Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act."

The Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." According to the Tenth Amendment, the national government cannot expand its legislative authority into areas reserved to the States or the people. It is a well-known fact that the size and scope of the federal government has exploded since the New Deal. Congress continues to operate without Constitutional restraint, creating costly and ineffective programs and blatantly ignoring the principles of federalism.

Rep. Shadegg's bill has been stuck in ther House Committee on the Judidiciary, and in the Committee on Rules, since he introduced it last year -- it's up to US to force it out. Please call your Representative, asking him or her to SUPPORT H.R. 1359, the "Enumerated Powers Act": (Conservative Alerts)

· We concur with this CALL TO ACTION to support the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution through this legislative action. Please call or write your member today! Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative or senator of your choice.

· "Thy people shall volunteer freely in the day of Thy power." (Ps. 110:3a NAS)


America's spy agencies for the first time would be tasked with gathering intelligence on threats to the nation's computer networks under a policy that could be detailed by the White House as early as next week, a senior administration official said Wednesday. Speaking at a security conference in Washington, the official said the Bush administration wants to harness the intelligence community's offensive capabilities in defense of government and civilian computer systems. In January, President Bush signed a directive authorizing the intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, to monitor all federal network traffic to prevent attackers from breaking in and from stealing sensitive data or disrupting critical systems. The administration official said the intelligence community is uniquely suited to counteract today's malicious actors - - ranging from lone hackers to organized cyber criminal groups and nation states -- who the official said are constantly developing new attacks and exploiting unknown security holes in software and hardware to compromise government networks.

The official said the president's new cyber-security directive will share the intelligence gleaned through monitoring threats across the government space with the private sector, which experts say is being hit with the same types of attacks that the federal dot-gov space is battling. "This an important and perhaps one of the most important national security and economic security issues facing us today," the official said. "We want a broader information flow to the private sector of the threats we're seeing, so that they can increase their security posture as well." (Washington Post)

In Congress, meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security committee wants to know what is the goal of Homeland Security's new National Cyber Security Center. They also want to know why it is that in March, DHS announced that Silicon Valley evangelist and security novice Rod Beckstrom would direct the center, when up to that point DHS said the mere existence of the center was classified. Those are just two sub-questions out of a list of 17 multi-part questions centrist Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) sent to DHS in a letter Friday.

The panel noted it was pleased with the new focus on cyber security but questioned Homeland Security's request to triple the center's cyber-security budget to about $200 million. They cited concerns about the secrecy around the project, its reliance on contractors for the operation of the center, and lack of dialogue with private companies that specialize in internet security. (Wired Blog Network)

. Kudos to Senators Collins and Lieberman for their astute questions about the functioning of the new National Cyber Security Center. Pray that the Lord hedges around the center and its work, for what is its purpose if terrorists and hackers can enter into its work? How will the employees be checked for security? $200 million is well spent if the center can do its assigned job. Pray that those who are working out the details for the center have the wisdom of the Lord and seek His divine intelligence.

. " Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." (Psalm 127:1)


Rice says she remains optimistic that the Israelis and Palestinians can achieve the framework peace agreement they committed themselves to at the Annapolis conference last November. But she concedes that the ensuing talks between the parties have advanced at less than blinding speed, and that the opportunity to resolve the Middle East conflict with a Palestinian state alongside Israel is not open-ended.

In a talk with reporters en route to London, Rice reiterated an assertion she made to American Jewish leaders earlier this week that, due in part to growing radicalization in the region, the window of opportunity for a two-state settlement of the conflict is not open-ended. "It is important to give reasonable people and moderate forces reason for hope. And that hope takes the form of articulating an agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state. And there's great urgency to that, because, as I said in the speech the other night, I do believe that the window for a two-state solution will not be forever open, and, I think, you could argue that it has gotten narrower and narrower over time," she said. (Voice of America)

. Pray that Secretary of State Rice can finally realize that there never has been a window of opportunity, for the terrorists governing the Palestinians do not want a two state structure: they want no Israel at all! Ask the Lord to speak to her in her dreams/sleep about His truth, for it is not in His will that this land be divided. Amen.

. "They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever." (Psalm 125:1,2)


Israel's chief of army intelligence warned lawmakers on April 29 that Hamas was planning a major terrorist attack as the nation's Independence Day nears. Celebrations begin this week and run through May 16 when President George W. Bush leaves following a three-day visit to participate in the festivities.

Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet that Hamas would probably focus on an Israel-Gaza Strip crossing point, its preference being to re-create the mass incursion into Egypt that took place in January,but this time with a rush into Israel. He described the Hamas fallback military option of using snipers and explosives along the border in an attempt to kill and capture Israelis. (By Staff, The Media Line, April 30 2008) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]

· The warnings of "Birthday Bombings" have been issued for several weeks now. Pray that the intentions of the terrorists will be thwarted by the Israel Defense Forces and Israel's highly efficient security network. Pray that the Lord will be with them as the various units seek to protect the people.

· "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19)


Those in Washington pushing for an Israeli- Palestinian deal by the end of President Bush's term may have to scale down their expectation as the gaps between the two sides only seem to be growing larger.

A new bout of discord arose after a blowout between the Palestinian Authority's head negotiator, Ahmed Qurei, and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni. Qurei angrily rejected a proposed map presented by Livni in which any future agreement would see Israel retaining control of the larger settlement blocs in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] as well as the Jordan River Valley and Jerusalem. Qurei grabbed the map spread out on the table and pushed it away with both hands.

The divide over the border fall-out was only further exacerbated after Qurei vehemently rebuffed comments made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak on April 29, in which he demanded a special security arrangement be made for a mountain ridge in Palestinian territory east of Ben Gurion Airport. The recent turbulence indicates a permanent deal or even an agreement on certain basic principles may be even farther from reach. "Among the three core issues being discussed in the negotiations the borders are considered the least problematic. The matter of the Palestinian refugees and sovereignty over Jerusalem are far more complex and sensitive. This incident just clarifies how far we are from an agreement," said a senior Israeli official close to the proceedings.

Foreign Minister Livni's office said in response that "the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are not held in public. Furthermore, until everything is agreed upon, nothing is agreed. Conducting ourselves in the limelight has never contributed to achieving our goals." A senior Palestinian official confirmed the details of the confrontation over the borders. Qurei has declined to comment on the meeting directly but the official said that the negotiator believes that talks are often fraught with anger. "Some ideas are rejected and some are accepted, some are logical and some are not," the source said. ( [Reported by: BFP]

· Pray that the Israeli and Arab negotiators will continue to confront the major hurdles in their peace negotiations. Pray that any compromises made by Israel will be made with serious consideration of the divine promises made to the Jewish people.

· "Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice?" (Proverbs 8:1)


The Kinneret Lake [Sea of Galilee] crossed what is known as the "Black Line", a mark that indicates the highest severity for low water levels, after water levels dropped more than 6cm [2.4in] during the Passover holiday. Monitors of the Kinneret have three lines to describe low water levels in the lake, with the final marking a spot so low that water pumping equipment becomes exposed and taking water from the Kinneret becomes physically impossible. An unusually dry winter when coupled with water needed for agriculture has led to the current low levels. The issue is of concern because as water evaporates, pollutants become more concentrated, making it unsafe for fishing and drinking. (Infolive tv) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]

· Pray that the Lord will bring rain for northern Israel. Pray that the dangerous water levels will be washed in His faithful provision.

· "The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the LORD, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. That they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it." (Isaiah 41:17,18,20)


The United Nations World Food Programme called high food prices a "silent tsunami," but it's not just hitting Indonesia this time. Israel is also feeling the affect of the price surges. David Franklin, CEO of Sugat, Israel's largest retail importer of rice, sugar, grains and more, said their grain and rice costs have gone up a minimum of 60% in the last year. Some food price increases over that time vary, however, since in some cases the price of sugar actually has declined after rising in cost a year ago.

For rice, which is the latest foodstuff to see a surge in prices, Franklin said their best-selling rices have risen more than 100% in price, while the lowest grades have risen some 300% in cost. And it's not just rice. Franklin said they are talking about world grain stocks hitting a 35-year low. The Sugat CEO, who said he has been in the commodity world for decades, doesn't remember ever seeing a problem like this. "I don't think the world has seen this sort of situation before, when I say that all foodstuffs prices have risen at the same time."

Among the reasons attributed to the food price crisis are weather problems, growing demand and consumption, increased use of biofuels and higher transportation costs. Franklin said they've had contracts for rice canceled and governments have halted exports. Since most rice production is in centralized economies, government-controlled pricing and export stoppages mean that farmers have no incentive to grow more, despite the price surges.

President George W. Bush said in a press conference on April 27 that he is "deeply concerned" about the prices in the United States and international food scarcity. He has reason to be concerned, because Franklin doesn't see the problem ending any time soon. "In my view we're talking about maybe four to six years before the world comes back into some sort of balance, but it's very, very difficult to make any accurate predictions," said Franklin. It is his belief that the world is in this situation for the long haul. He doubts that there are any quick fixes. Even increasing crops by the end of this year won't solve the problem. "In my view," Franklin said, "this time it's far more serious." (BFP Israel Mosaic Radio)

· Pray that the Lord will bless the world's food supply. Pray that the nations will turn to Him for their sustenance and provision. Pray that the current situation will reveal the futility of worldly wisdom and the need we have of His tender love and mercy.

· "So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do." (Genesis 41:55)

More News from the Hill

More News from the Hill

For more news of upcoming activity on the floor of the House and the Senate this week, we refer you to "Citizen Joe" -- a very secular source that gives a thumbnail sketch of the same.

Please note that our editorial team does not always agree with the opinions cited on "Citizen Joe," but their handy summary of weekly congressional activity can be quite useful for prayer.

You can find "Citizen Joe" by going to:

Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

(Barry Goldwater: The Conscience of a Conservative)

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

KING OF KINGS (Mehlekh Ha-M'lah-kheem)

"On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19:16)

That You are the King of all the kings who ever was, are or ever will be, is sometimes too much for me to fully comprehend. But I am thankful to be Your child. Thank You for the iimperishable inheritance that awaits me from the King of Kings.

(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)