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Dear Voter and Friend of the Family,
FRC Action presents our Vote Scorecard for 2016, the Second Session of the 114th Congress. This online Scorecard contains a compilation of significant votes on federal legislation affecting family values that FRC Action either supported or opposed. These recorded votes span votes thus far in the 2016 calendar year but may contain additional votes that occur before the end of the year.
The year began by handling unfinished business of addressing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting practices revealed in undercover videos. Congress failed to fully defund Planned Parenthood but late in 2015 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Reconciliation Act, which would have eliminated a significant portion of Planned Parenthood’s funding—roughly 80%— and repealed key provisions of Obamacare. The House in January, 2016 passed the new version and sent to the President who vetoed the measure. The House failed to override the veto. Passage of this bill showed a way forward to substantially repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood with a future pro-life President. With democrat obstructionism of spending bills and the shortened spring and summer congressional sessions due to July conventions, only one other pro-life bill received a vote in the House, when it successfully passed the Conscience Protection Act. This bill would codify and provide a right of action under current conscience laws that already bar government discrimination against pro-life entities. Other House votes occurred on the issue of D.C. school choice, on D.C.’s law discriminating against pro-life entities, on medical marijuana, on women being required to sign up for selective service, and a few votes involving the debate over whether federal contractors have the freedom to act in accordance with their beliefs or whether they must comply with LGBTQ special protections advocated by the Left. Amendments supporting both LGBTQ special protections and religious liberty protections passed.
Most of the prolife bills from the House went unaddressed in the Senate which repeatedly failed to move spending bills. The Senate confirmed the nomination of John B. King as Secretary of the Department of Education by a close vote, after which Secretary King has engaged in an unprecedented effort to target and disparage faith-bases educational institutions over their beliefs about sexuality and marriage, going so far as to place such universities on a public target list for requesting religious accommodations as a result of the Administration’s agency wide redefinition of sex discrimination to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” After Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, Leader Mitch McConnell and Chairman Chuck Grassley made good on their promise to avoid confirmation of his replacement after the president nominated liberal Merrick Garland. Following historic precedent, the Senate has taken no action to hold hearings or votes to confirm a Supreme Court nominee during a presidential lame duck year. While 2015 was a year in which the Senate took multiple actions to support life and family values, very little was accomplished this year.
This Vote Scorecard contains 12 votes in the House and only one vote in the Senate for the Second Session of the 114th Congress. Congress will return to Washington after the election for a lame duck session leaving the door open to further scorecard votes. While Congress passed key pieces of pro-life and pro-family legislation last year, clearly much more needs to be done to preserve the values so many Americans support. We cannot do it without you.
Please contact the Government Affairs office of FRC Action for questions about the Scorecard.
Standing (Eph. 6:13),