|Volume 38, Number 1 www.nrlc.org January 2011|
Pro-Life Lawmakers Take
Over Key Positions in House,
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 6, 2011) – The 112th Congress has convened with pro-life forces in a substantially stronger position than during the first two years of President Obama’s term – but with adversaries still firmly in control of many key centers of federal policymaking power.
On January 5, pro-life Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was sworn in as Speaker of the House of Representatives, ending the four-year speakership of pro-abortion Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.). Boehner and pro-life House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will lead a House in which Republicans will hold a 242-193 seat majority – a shift of 63 seats to the Republicans. All but a handful of the newly elected Republicans are pro-life.
The November election also resulted in modest changes in the Senate. The Democrats remain in control, under the direction of pro-abortion Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nv.), but the election reduced the Democrat majority from 59-41 to 53-47. While Reid will retain the power to largely set the agenda for the Senate, the diminished Democrat majority will strengthen the ability of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to block legislation objectionable to most Republicans – since it usually takes 60 votes to win adoption of a controversial bill, motion, or nomination in the Senate.
The new House Republican leadership promptly announced that the first major bill it will bring to the House floor will be a measure to completely repeal the far-reaching health care bill enacted in March 2010. At NRL News deadline, the repeal bill H.R. 2, introduced by Cantor, was scheduled for a House floor vote on January 12.
House Obamacare Repeal
Vote Just the Start in
By Burke J. Balch, J.D.
At press time, the U.S. House of Representatives was expected to vote January 12 to repeal the Obama Healthcare Law. While the Senate leadership, still controlled by the law’s supporters, is unlikely to vote on repeal during 2011 or 2012, the House vote will be an important step in laying the groundwork for repeal, depending on who is in power in Washington in 2013.
As the story on page 15 details, late last year the Obama Administration used its executive power to impose by regulation a strengthened version of a provision that had provoked great public outcry in summer 2009—then abruptly reversed itself January 4. Section 1233 in the then-proposed House bill would have reimbursed doctors for discussing with their Medicare patients advance directives that might include authorization to withhold lifesaving medical treatment, food, and fluids—a discussion that would generally take place only every five years.
Many feared that these counseling sessions would in practice be used to cut down on health care costs by convincing elderly people to forego expensive treatment. The provision was omitted in the law finally passed—but the Obama Administration quietly issued a regulation ensuring that doctors would be paid to talk about advance directives with their Medicare patients not just every five years but as part of their annual checkups. After a New York Times story brought the regulation to public attention, the Administration beat a hasty retreat.
From the President
THE CULTURE OF LIFE AND THE CULTURE OF DEATH
By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
God who gave us life gave us
liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a
conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble
for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot
Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in reference to the cruel injustice of slavery. Slavery is incompatible with the foundational principles of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The “self-evident” truth of God’s endowment is not a mere lofty political phrase; it is a core truth about the human condition. Acting against that truth should make us tremble, indeed, because God is just.
The writers of the Declaration of Independence were fully aware that some would consider the king or the government to be the source of human rights, so they added:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… .”
In other words, government is not the source of our fundamental rights; its role is limited to securing these rights. Thus the God-created right to life is not contingent upon the consent of the king, or the government, or the health care bureaucrat—or any self-appointed judge of our right to exist. The role of the government should be to “secure” the right to life and protect it from the deadly grasp of the abortionist and the cold calculations of the “ethicist” who arrogantly wants to define our “quality of life” and limit our health care accordingly.
NRL News Archive
November/December 2009 January 2003
December 2003 2002
NRL News 2002 Subject Index
December 2002 January 2000
Subject Indexes for 1990
NRL News 1995 Subject Index
NRL News 1994 Subject Index
NRL News 1993 Subject Index
NRL News 1992 Subject Index
NRL News 1991 Subject Index
NRL News 1990 Subject Index