February 09, 2018
"to elevate the condition of
men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the
paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered
start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln
Chairman's Note: A Betrayal of
Last night, Congress passed a
continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the federal government
funded through March 23. This is the fifth Continuing Resolution
of the fiscal year-a sixth may be needed before March 23, since
both parties have agreed to begin debate on an immigration bill
But as bad as the decision to
continue funding the government through un-amended short-term
auto-pilot bills is, the two-year budget cap deal that passed
along with the CR is even worse.
With the CR, Congress agreed to
fund specific government programs at specific levels only through
March 23.The larger budget deal set overallspending levels for
two years. The breakdown of spending on specific programs after
March 23 will be decided in future funding decisions.
But no matter how Congress
divvies up the budget in the months ahead, last night's budget
deal guaranteed that the end result will blow the top off the
nation's already rising debt.
According to the Committee for a
Responsible Federal Budget, the spending increases in last
night's budget deal will drive next year's budget deficit to
almost $1.2 trillion, a level not seen since the beginning of
President Obama's failed stimulus program.
This is a complete betrayal of
everything limited-government conservatives fought for during
It also is a betrayal of the
limited-government vision the Trump administration outlined in
its FY 2018 budget. That document called for a $1.4 trillion
reduction in discretionary spending over the next ten years. By
contrast, this bill sets up a path to dramatically increase
But that's not all. The bill also
threw in more than $17 billion in tax loopholes to special
interests, including tax rebates for rum producers in Puerto
Rico, accelerated depreciation for racehorse investors, special
expensing provisions for Hollywood producers, and tax subsidies
for electric vehicles.
It even suspended the federal
government's $20.5 trillion debt limit through March 1, 2019.
Suspending the debt limit functionally raises the borrowing
authority of the federal government by over one trillion
dollars-and it does so without any effort to reduce or reform
If you hoped that this budget
deal would create the possibility for welfare orspending reform,
I have bad news for you. By setting spending levels for the next
two years, the deal has made passage of a budget resolution this
year extremely unlikely. Without a budget resolution, there can
be no reconciliation process. And without a reconciliation
process, any serious effort to reform welfare or spending is
It is unclear what the Senate
will do legislatively between now and the November elections.
What should be clear to limited-government conservatives is that
they have been completely abandoned by the Republican Congress.
He's Always Lucas First
Click here to watch video
Issue in Focus: A Threat to
Marriage from the EEOC
The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission may seem like an unlikely threat to religious liberty
and the institution of marriage. After all, the federal agency
was created to combat workplace discrimination by the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. But sadly, the agency created to fight
discrimination now threatens to discriminate itself; one nominee
to the commission's five-member board wants to use the federal
agency's power to undermine our nation's founding principles.
Chai Feldblum was first nominated
to the EEOC by President Barack Obama in 2009, but she was not
confirmed by the Senate. In March 2010, President Obama skirted
the Senate by seating Feldblum on the commission when Congress
was in recess. The Senate ultimately confirmed Feldblum on a
54-41 vote during a lame-duck session in December of that year.
Only two Republicans voted for Feldblum's confirmation.
Last December, President Donald
Trump re-nominated Feldblum, along with two Republicans, to the
EEOC. If all three nominees are confirmed, Republicans will have
a 3-2 majority on the EEOC.
If Feldblum were a typical
Democrat, it might make sense to let her nomination proceed
through the Senate along with her two Republican colleagues. But
Feldblum is no typical Democrat. Her radical views on marriage
and the appropriate use of government power place her far outside
even the liberal mainstream.
Feldblum has argued that, "I, for
one, am not sure marriage is a normatively good institution."
Instead of promoting marriage as the best arrangement for the
emotional and economic security of families, Feldblum believes
"all of us are harmed… when society fails to acknowledge
the wide array of non-marital social structures."
Feldblum even signed a manifesto
proposing government recognition of "diverse kinds" of
partnerships that "move beyond the narrow confines of marriage
politics" in the United States.
Don't think for a second that
Feldblum's derogatory views about marriage will stay private.
Feldblum wants to turn her opinions into federal policy through
"The EEOC has jurisdiction only
over employment," Feldblum told The Washington Blade in 2015.
"But other federal agencies that enforce sex discrimination
provisions often look to our interpretation for guidance in
interpreting the laws they enforce."
And don't think for a second that
you, your family, and your neighbors will be left alone if
Feldblum gets her way. Feldblum has described modern-day politics
as a "zero-sum game," where rights for LGBT Americans are secured
only by curtailing the rights of religious Americans.
Likewise, Feldblum believes her
radical agenda "cannot be adequately advanced if pockets of
resistance… are permitted to flourish." She therefore has
argued that "no individual exceptions based on religious beliefs"
should ever be allowed if they conflict with "the goal of liberty
for gay people."
Feldblum's desire to use the
might of government to stamp out traditional marriage supporters
stands in stark contrast to Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority
opinion in Obergefell v Hodges, which redefined marriage in 2015.
"The First Amendment ensures that
religious organizations and persons (emphasis added) are given
proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are
so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths," Kennedy
wrote. "And to their own deep aspirations to continue the family
structure they have long revered."
As the Supreme Court
acknowledges, America's tradition of religious freedom embraces
all. Rather than a "zero-sum game" that pits Americans against
each other, we should work to build an America where "all possess
alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship," as
George Washington wrote in 1790.
President Trump and Senate
Democrats should reject Chai Feldblum's divisive agenda by
finding a more mainstream candidate for the EEOC, one who
respects the institution of marriage and religious freedom for
361A Russell Senate
Salt Lake City
Wallace F. Bennett
125 South State,
Salt Lake City, UT
Office of Senator
Michael S. Lee
285 West Tabernacle,
St. George, UT 84770
SaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSave Save
Save Save Save Save Save
SaveSave SaveSaveSave SaveSave Save
This message was intended for: xxx
You were added to the system October 2, 2015.
For more information please follow the URL below:
Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out:
To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings
with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.