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My friends, we are fighting hard every day for shared values -- and I confess, this is a tough time to be defending faith and family in our nation's capital. But as you will read below, there is some good news in the fight for life.
Fighting For Life
Two years ago today, Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murdering babies born alive in his "house of horrors." His case attracted national attention and exposed the left's abortion-on-demand extremism.
Today the House of Representatives is voting on legislation that would stop late-term abortions -- the deliberate killing of unborn babies in the fifth month of pregnancy or later. The legislation is sponsored by my friend Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who based his bill on research showing that babies in the fifth month of pregnancy are capable of feeling pain.
This is not a controversial or "anti-woman" position. Polling shows that overwhelming majorities of Americans, including women, oppose late-term abortions. For example:
- A December 2012 Gallup poll found that 64 percent of Americans felt abortion should generally be illegal after three months of pregnancy.
- A June 2013 Huffington Post poll found that 59 percent of Americans favored federal laws preventing abortions after 20 weeks.
- A November Quinnipiac poll found that 60 percent of adults -- including 59 percent of women -- support legislation preventing "virtually all abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy."
The House of Representatives passed similar legislation in 2013. Liberals controlled the Senate then and, unfortunately, never permitted a vote on the Senate floor.
There will be a vote in the Senate this year, but we will most likely have to fight to overcome a liberal filibuster in order to get the bill to Obama's desk. That is a fight pro-life Americans should welcome.
Better Late Than Never
President Obama participated in a panel discussion yesterday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., discussing ways Catholic and evangelical groups can work together to address poverty.
Knowing his audience, Obama began by commenting on the "stereotype of folks on the left who just want to pour more money into social programs and don't care about culture or parenting or family structures."
Mr. Obama acknowledged that he "grew up without a father and I know the cost that I paid for that. And I also know that I have the capacity to break that cycle, and as a consequence, I think my daughters are better off."
He also said that he wanted to give young black men "some sense that they can have an impact on their immediate circumstances, and the joys of fatherhood."
While I appreciate the president's remarks about the importance of family, I can't help but wonder where has he been for the past six years. He has had numerous opportunities during his time in office to speak up. For the most part, he has regrettably missed them.
Despite this nod to value of family, Obama's left-wing instincts were also on full display. Obama chastised those who have "more than you'll ever be able to use" and suggesting that government should take it from them.
He seemingly attacked people who send their kids to private schools -- even though he and Michelle send their daughters to one of the most elite private schools in Washington.
He implied that those who were successful were simply "luckier" and "society's lottery winners."
In short, it didn't take Obama long to start preaching from the Gospel of Social Justice -- that somehow the government should determine what is fair and take money by force of law and redistribute it to others.
We've tried that for decades, and it is clearly not working very well. It is also a perversion of the Gospel message. Charity is a personal obligation. Nothing in the scriptures calls on government to take from some people and give it to others. That is socialism, not Christianity.
Senate Stops "Obamatrade" -- For Now
Yesterday the Senate delivered what many in the media described as a "stinging blow" to President Obama's agenda. Legislation granting Obama fast-track trade negotiating authority was filibustered on a party-line vote. Obama wants this power to cut a multi-national deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP.
In an odd twist, it wasn't Republicans who filibustered the deal, but Senate Democrats led by Harry Reid.
I know all the economic arguments in support of free trade. I'm not going to get into that debate today. But some are rightly calling this deal "Obamatrade," and that is why it should be opposed.
Just like Obamacare, we have no idea what is in this deal. The American people cannot see it.
It is classified, literally kept under lock and key in the basement of Capitol Hill. Members of Congress who want to read the bill cannot bring staff, must surrender their smartphones and cannot take notes when they leave Obama's chamber of trade secrets.
Senators on the left and the right are demanding that Obama declassify the text. President Obama insists it is a good deal, but we've got to pass fast-track authority before we can find out what is in the TPP.
As Charles Krauthammer put it, "Trusting him is a little hard after what he's done with Obamacare -- 'If you like your plan, you can keep it' -- [or] what he said about Iran: 'This is going to prevent a nuclear weapon.' It's going to do the opposite. So trust is not an argument."
I agree completely. That is why I am so perplexed by the GOP's insistence on bringing this issue back up and granting this president, who has repeatedly abused his executive authority, any more power.