“Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” Shot Down In Senate

The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, introduced as an amendent to the Transportation Bill, last week in response to the Obama Administrations Birth Control Mandate, which opponents feel is an “egregious violation of religious freedom,” was defeated today in the Senate in a 51-48 vote that included Maine Senator Olympia Snow, who announced yesterday she was not seeking re-election, voting with Harry Reid and Democrats against the measure.

The issue has gained a tidal wave of momentum across the religious and political spectrum. Rights activists concerned about government/statist violations of basic Constitutional rights are joining in the opposition to the Birth Control mandate. “For America” Chairman L. Brent Bozell, III, wrote in a letter to U. S. Senators:

“…On behalf of ForAmerica’s 2 million supporters, I write to urge you to take a stand for the Constitution — the First Amendment, religious liberty and individual freedom — by casting a YES vote on Senator Roy Blunt’s Amendment #1520 the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act…The recent ObamaCare regulations written and released by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius represent a blatant and unprecedented attack on the First Amendment, individual freedom, religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Indeed, these regulations represent perhaps the greatest intrusion on individual freedom and religious liberty in our nation’s history…”

In a letter to his colleagues in Congress Senator Roy Blunt wrote that the Obama Health Care Bill is:

“…a broad assault on America’s freedoms,and that is why the protection from that assault must be broad-based. The language in this amendment stands on exactly the same legal footing as decades of federal conscience protections in health care. In fact, the late Senator Ted Kennedy included a strikingly similar conscience protection faith-based health plans in his 1997 proposal, the Health Insurance Bill of Rights, and conscience portection language accomplishing the same purpose was included as part of the draft 1994 legislation based on the recommendations fro the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, headed by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton… While the Administration claims that this so-called “accomodation” [referring to the Obama compromise regarding the mandate] fixes the problem, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the exact same Preventive Services Rule that initially caused serious concern from groups nationwide – such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – dating back to last August. The Administration promises ‘future regulations’ to implement the accomodation for non-profit religious institutions, but this will be done outside the scope of public accountability, and the ‘change’ does not even begin to address discrimination against self-insured religious institutions like the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington or for-profit religious employers. What the President does not appear to understand is that just because you come up with an accounting gimmick and pretend like religious institutions are wrong, does not mean that you’ve satisfied the fundamental constitutional freedoms that all Americans are guaranteed…”

In a February 15 letter to all U.S. Senators, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston explained to Legislators how the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” (S. 1467) is especially needed since a new mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will force almost all health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an early abortion, and sterilizations, stating that even many religious organizations will not be exempt from the mandate.”

Cardinal DiNardo said:

“The Administration’s rule makes no provision for the rights of insurers, even religiously affiliated insurers, but places responsibility for enforcing the mandate more squarely than ever on their shoulders. This is a radical departure from current law, under which a health plan that excludes contraception can be sold even to federal employees if the carrier has any religious objection to such coverage…[the mandate] does not support discriminatory decisions to withhold basic coverage, does not free anyone from responsibilities under other state or federal laws, and does not allow anyone to deny coverage for high-cost treatments using morality and religion as a pretext…” (Read MORE HERE)

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago as early as 2009 warned and urged Catholics in the United States to tell the Obama Administration to retain Health and Human Services regulations governing conscience protections for health care workers:

Cardinal George wrote in Catholic New World . Com, this week:

“This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must “give up” her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice. It is the consequence of the already much discussed Department of Health and Human Services regulations now filed and promulgated for implementation beginning Aug. 1 of this year…Why does a governmental administrative decision now mean the end of institutions that have been built up over several generations from small donations, often from immigrants, and through the services of religious women and men and others who wanted to be part of the church’s mission in healing and education? Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience…”

But Harry Reid and opposing Democrat Senators were determined in their opposition to the Bill. As JENNIFER HABERKORN and KATE NOCERA write in POLITICO, “…Democrats — who think they have a political winner if they can frame the debate as a women’s health issue — say they’ll be there to refight the issue as many times as it takes….’We know that this is just an attempt in a series of attempts,’ Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said after the vote. ‘We’re going to stand up; we’re going to fight back.’…”

Senator Blunt expressed his disappointment at the Senate’s rejection of the Bill:

“I am truly disappointed by the partisanship that has been injected into this debate on religious freedoms. Instead of working to pass a bipartisan measure that has been part of our law for almost 40 years, this debate has been burdened by outlandish and divisive efforts to misinform and frighten Americans…The fact remains that this provision would simply preserve the fundamental religious freedom that we enjoy today. For the first time in our history, the Obama Administration’s health care mandate is an egregious violation of our First Amendment rights…Unfortunately, this is only a glimpse of what Americans can expect as a result of President Obama’s government health care takeover – which is why we need to repeal and replace this bill with common-sense bipartisan solutions…This fight is not over. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress to protect the rights that make our nation great.”

See the “For America” Petition HERE

Vanguard of Freedom

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1207578493 Maiwand Maiwandol

    please contact me on the phone or something…send me your nummber please or ask for my…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1080861918 Jeff Maahs

    What’s that America thing you mentioned?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1185545414 Paul Maitrejean

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t this the same Senate taken over by Republicans in the midterms? Republicans who promised smaller government and more adherence to the Constitution?

    • RAZOR

      THAT WAS THE HOUSE OF REPS

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1331875787 Jackie Doss

    No, Paul. The senate is still majority democrat. It’s the House that’s Republican.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000035047164 Gus Anderson

    We need a new law…….a bill can only contain stuff that actually has something to do with the subject of the bill.
    Why are these wing-nuts smuggling contraception legislation in a transportation bill in the first place?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=628132378 Kathi Jean Andrews

    this senate is run by dingy harry who ought to be run out of office for REFUSING to do the job Nevada voters voted him into ofice to do!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000078283876 Danny Nipper

    Sneaking unrelated amendments into a bill is common practice by both parties, including ObamaCare. On the bright side, that Dem mascarading as a Republican known as Olympia Snow of Maine will not seek re-election. Helpful, but not really a fair trade off, a seat for a Constitutuon snub.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550246703 David M Cianci

    The House will crush this

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000330784786 Sherry Higgins

    Snow never had a chance after Obama care

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1116514192 William R. Shaneyfelt

    Sad commentary on a corrupt bunch of criminals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1181246171 John Stone

    In a way, this amendment getting shot down has a good side to it:
    If they would have voted for it, it would have added legitimacy to the whole “Obamacare” thing, when the whole law really needs to get tossed out as unconstitutional. If other related legislation gets passed on the side, it means that Obamacare really is legitimate…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=758159896 PJ Jaycox

    Can you abort someone who’s been here for 60 years?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649427863 Mark Harrill

    Oh, NOW the Senate is doing SOMETHING!
    BUT THIS?!?!? WTF?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=649427863 Mark Harrill

    Quiet lil churchmouses, are we, Harry REID?!?!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1523469331 Bill Sorenson

    The democratically controlled senate!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1664695883 Diana Greeley Knight

    It’s a sad day all around. The Democrats are emboldened and trampling on religious freedom!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1095721182 Steve Rossman

    Horrible vote, I weep for my great nation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1029054679 Deirdre Johnson

    Here is how it went down; the roll call on the Senate vote today along with their phone numbers:

    Senators Who Voted AGAINST Protecting Religious Liberty:

    Akaka, Daniel K. – (D – HI) (202) 224-6361
    Baucus, Max – (D – MT) (202) 224-2651
    Begich, Mark – (D – AK) (202) 224-3004
    Bennet, Michael F. – (D – CO) (202) 224-5852
    Bingaman, Jeff – (D – NM) (202) 224-5521
    Blumenthal, Richard – (D – CT) (202) 224-2823
    Boxer, Barbara – (D – CA) (202) 224-3553
    Brown, Sherrod – (D – OH) (202) 224-2315
    Cantwell, Maria – (D – WA) (202) 224-3441
    Cardin, Benjamin L. – (D – MD) (202) 224-4524
    Carper, Thomas R. – (D – DE) (202) 224-2441
    Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) (202) 224-2523
    Conrad, Kent – (D – ND) (202) 224-2043
    Coons, Christopher A. – (D – DE) (202) 224-5042
    Durbin, Richard J. – (D – IL) (202) 224-2152
    Feinstein, Dianne – (D – CA) (202) 224-3841
    Franken, Al – (D – MN) (202) 224-5641
    Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY) (202) 224-4451
    Hagan, Kay R. – (D – NC) (202) 224-6342
    Harkin, Tom – (D – IA) (202) 224-3254
    Inouye, Daniel K. – (D – HI) (202) 224-3934
    Johnson, Tim – (D – SD) (202) 224-5842
    Kerry, John F. – (D – MA) (202) 224-2742
    Klobuchar, Amy – (D – MN) (202) 224-3244
    Kohl, Herb – (D – WI) (202) 224-5653
    Landrieu, Mary L. – (D – LA) (202) 224-5824
    Lautenberg, Frank R. – (D – NJ) (202) 224-3224
    Leahy, Patrick J. – (D – VT) (202) 224-4242
    Levin, Carl – (D – MI) (202) 224-6221
    Lieberman, Joseph I. – (ID – CT) (202) 224-4041
    McCaskill, Claire – (D – MO) (202) 224-6154
    Menendez, Robert – (D – NJ) (202) 224-4744
    Merkley, Jeff – (D – OR) (202) 224-3753
    Mikulski, Barbara A. – (D – MD) (202) 224-4654
    Murray, Patty – (D – WA) (202) 224-2621
    Nelson, Bill – (D – FL) (202) 224-5274
    Pryor, Mark L. – (D – AR) (202) 224-2353
    Reed, Jack – (D – RI) (202) 224-4642
    Reid, Harry – (D – NV) (202) 224-3542
    Rockefeller, John D., IV – (D – WV) (202) 224-6472
    Sanders, Bernard – (I – VT) (202) 224-5141
    Schumer, Charles E. – (D – NY) (202) 224-6542
    Shaheen, Jeanne – (D – NH) (202) 224-2841
    Stabenow, Debbie – (D – MI) (202) 224-4822
    Tester, Jon – (D – MT) (202) 224-2644
    Udall, Mark – (D – CO) (202) 224-5941
    Udall, Tom – (D – NM) (202) 224-6621
    Warner, Mark R. – (D – VA) (202) 224-2023
    Webb, Jim – (D – VA) (202) 224-4024
    Whitehouse, Sheldon – (D – RI) (202) 224-2921
    Wyden, Ron – (D – OR) (202) 224-5244

    Senators Who Voted FOR Religious Liberty:

    Alexander, Lamar – (R – TN) (202) 224-4944
    Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH) (202) 224-3324
    Barrasso, John – (R – WY) (202) 224-6441
    Blunt, Roy – (R – MO) (202) 224-5721
    Boozman, John – (R – AR) (202) 224-4843
    Brown, Scott P. – (R – MA) (202) 224-4543
    Burr, Richard – (R – NC) (202) 224-3154
    Casey, Robert P., Jr. – (D – PA) (202) 224-6324
    Chambliss, Saxby – (R – GA) (202) 224-3521
    Coats, Daniel – (R – IN) (202) 224-5623
    Coburn, Tom – (R – OK) (202) 224-5754
    Cochran, Thad – (R – MS) (202) 224-5054
    Corker, Bob – (R – TN) (202) 224-3344
    Cornyn, John – (R – TX) (202) 224-2934
    Crapo, Mike – (R – ID) (202) 224-6142
    DeMint, Jim – (R – SC) (202) 224-6121
    Enzi, Michael B. – (R – WY) (202) 224-3424
    Graham, Lindsey – (R – SC) (202) 224-5972
    Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA) (202) 224-3744
    Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT) (202) 224-5251
    Heller, Dean – (R – NV) (202) 224-6244
    Hoeven, John – (R – ND) (202) 224-2551
    Hutchison, Kay Bailey – (R – TX) (202) 224-5922
    Inhofe, James M. – (R – OK) (202) 224-4721
    Isakson, Johnny – (R – GA) (202) 224-3643
    Johanns, Mike – (R – NE) (202) 224-4224
    Johnson, Ron – (R – WI) (202) 224-5323
    Kyl, Jon – (R – AZ) (202) 224-4521
    Lee, Mike – (R – UT) (202) 224-5444
    Lugar, Richard G. – (R – IN) (202) 224-4814
    Manchin, Joe, III – (D – WV) (202) 224-3954
    McCain, John – (R – AZ)(202) 224-2235
    McConnell, Mitch – (R – KY) (202) 224-2541
    Moran, Jerry – (R – KS) (202) 224-6521
    Murkowski, Lisa – (R – AK) (202) 224-6665
    Nelson, Ben – (D – NE) (202) 224-6551
    Paul, Rand – (R – KY) (202) 224-4343
    Portman, Rob – (R – OH) (202) 224-3353
    Risch, James E. – (R – ID) (202) 224-2752
    Roberts, Pat – (R – KS) (202) 224-4774
    Rubio, Marco – (R – FL) (202) 224-3041
    Sessions, Jeff – (R – AL) (202) 224-4124
    Shelby, Richard C. – (R – AL) (202) 224-5744
    Snowe, Olympia J. – (R – ME) (202) 224-5344
    Thune, John – (R – SD) (202) 224-2321
    Toomey, Patrick J. – (R – PA) (202) 224-4254
    Vitter, David – (R – LA) (202) 224-4623
    Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS) (202) 224-6253

    NOTE: Senator Mark Kirk – (R – IL) (202) 224-2854 – supports Senator Blunt’s amendment in favor of religious liberty, but was not present for the vote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1247498726 Al Draheim

    Just watch Maryland going forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1783881652 Joe Rinaldi

    We should oust the 3 asshole republicans who voted for this. Susan Collins is a RINO and a piece of shit like that beautiful Olympia Snow. LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1428438509 Kelley Fager Stone

    Commie bastards… And those “Independents” aren’t very independent in their voting, are they?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1138921034 Julie Scott

    This also gives us NAMES of who to VOTE OUT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1431586819 Ronald E. Lundgren

    There goes the First Amendment to the Constittution. We must defend our constitution since the dems. won’ti

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  • RAZOR

    We will defend the constitution if they won,t.