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Dear Voter and Friend of the Family,
FRC Action presents our Vote Scorecard for the First Session of the 114th Congress. This online Scorecard contains a compilation of significant votes on federal legislation affecting faith, family, and freedom that FRC Action either supported or opposed.
These recorded votes span the 2015 calendar year and include the greatest number of pro-life votes in history, after the U.S. House increased its Republican membership and the U.S. Senate was returned to Republican control. The year began with a bipartisan effort in the House to prohibit federal funds from being used to pay for abortion coverage under Obamacare. Congress successfully fought to restrict FDA approval of some forms of embryo-destructive research. The House, once again, passed legislation that would prevent late abortions on 5 month old pain-capable unborn children, and although the Senate was unable to pass the bill due to the 60 vote threshold, for the first time, a majority of Senators voted in favor of the bill.
The public release of videos revealing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting practices renewed efforts to defund this scandal-ridden organization and redirect funding towards community health centers. In an unprecedented victory, the House and Senate passed a budget reconciliation bill, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which would have eliminated a significant portion of Planned Parenthood’s funding—roughly 80%— and repealed key provisions of Obamacare. This reconciliation bill is the first bill of its kind to make it to President Obama’s desk. While the President vetoed this bill this year, this effort was significant in forcing the President to bear the moral responsibility to continue the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood, and in creating a precedent for accomplishing this with 51 votes in the Senate under a future pro-life President.
Many times, our religious freedom was called into question. The District of Columbia’s Council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act which threatens religious and pro-life organizations operating according to their sincerely held beliefs. The House used its constitutional authority over the District’s laws and passed a resolution disapproving this terrible ordinance. Unfortunately, the Senate did not follow suit, thus religious exercise continues to be threatened in Washington, D.C.
A major assault on both religious liberty and the family came from the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling redefining marriage. The Senate did have votes prior to the Obergefell ruling which would have trumped state laws that protected marriage. FRC Action worked to defeat amendments voted on in the Senate which would have created special protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, in veterans programs and in certain anti-trafficking programs, with no protections for religious freedom. The House and Senate did see the introduction of the First Amendment Defense Act to prevent the federal government from discriminating against those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman. However, Congress did not act on this legislation despite the threat of Obergefell and federal agency action pressuring those who support natural marriage.
Other family values were often brought to the forefront of Congressional votes. The Senate passed a budget amendment to repeal the Death Tax, and the House passed a bill repealing this tax; however, this did not become law. In an effort to keep our families safe, our friends in the House voted against legalizing marijuana as medicine for veterans. They did, however, pass an FRC-opposed amendment preventing the Department of Justice from enforcing federal law making possession and distribution of marijuana illegal. Further, the education of future generations was taken seriously when the Senate passed an amendment to prohibit the federal government from coercing states into adopting Common Core standards. A similar provision was included in reauthorization of the controversial No Child Left Behind bill.
This Vote Scorecard looks at 12 votes in the House and 11 votes in the Senate for the First Session of the 114th Congress. These votes represent only a part of our effort to protect traditional pro-family policies in Washington. While Congress passed key pieces of pro-life and pro-family legislation, there remains much to be done. We encourage you to stay engaged and informed on these issues as your involvement is a great asset in the battle to preserve the American family. Together, we can defend faith, family and freedom!
Please contact the Government Affairs office of FRC Action for questions about the Scorecard.