Author archives: Bethany Brock

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.): ‘There is a law prohibiting the federal funding of abortions, but it is being done anyway’

by Bethany Brock

December 6, 2013

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to respond to the on-demand abortions found in Obamacare exchange healthcare plans in spite of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion.

The president made a promise that he would adhere to the Hyde principle, and that means that you do not fund even a plan that includes abortion,” said the Representative.

Federal funding of Obamacare for healthcare plans that include abortions overrides the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), an amendment that Smith helped pass in 1983. FEHB states that the Office of Personal Management (OPM) cannot administer any plan that includes abortion, except in very limited cases. 

OPM has no choice but to obey the clear letter of the law.  That’s not what they’ve done,” Smith said.

There are 112 Obamacare plans that are offered to all of our Congressional staff in Washington and across the country and to members of Congress. Ninety percent of them, 103 of those plans out of 112, fund abortion on demand.”

Smith explained, “Those federal tax dollars will be going into forms of subsidies that will be buying these plans that include abortion on demand. It is outrageous in the extreme. There is a law prohibiting the federal funding of abortions, but it is being done anyway.”

He continued, “It is very difficult when you have a lawless president, executive branch, attorney general, and a justice department that is absolutely willing and complacent in the lawlessness to enforce federal statutes.

I’ve been in Congress 33 years and have never felt that our executive branch was out of control like this.” Smith said that even in past administrations there was always a sense that the rule of law was being adhered to. “Not so with these folk in the White House and our President. They do whatever they want. They break the law with impunity and this is a classic example.”

Smith recently introduced H.R. 7, a bill that proposes to completely remove abortion from Obamacare exchange plans and to repeal Obamacare. “We need to pass that and stay with that until it is the law of the land. I believe strongly and have voted repeatedly with the Republican leadership to repeal Obamacare itself.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Former U.N. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger: ‘The deal with Iran and P5+1 Subordinates Reality to Wishful Thinking’

by Bethany Brock

December 3, 2013

Former United Nations Ambassador Yoram Ettinger appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the recent negotiations between Iran and the United Nations Security Council (P5+1) about Iran’s nuclear program.

The deal with Iran and P5+1 subordinates reality to wishful thinking. We are talking about an agreement with Iran at a time when the regime in Iran does not show any sense of compliance with agreements on the domestic front, or on the regional front,” Ettinger said. “In fact, together with North Korea, Iran is the world leader in the violation of human rights, but we are told that when it comes to agreements, that they are supposed to comply.”

The former U.N. ambassador pointed out, “While Western societies seek agreements in order to solidify a peaceful coexistence, rogue regimes with imperialistic inspirations, like the regime in Iran, view this agreement as a tactical step in order to overcome the partner to the agreement. And this has been demonstrated again and again in the Middle East by Iran, by the other regimes, but it has been overlooked by the U.S. negotiators because they are so anxious to reach an agreement.”

Ettinger explained that the regime in Iran is led by “a spiritual leader who is known for his anti-American position. Worse than that, he is known for his art of diplomacy and art of misleading people, which is the need to mislead the infidel in order to advance the goals of Islam.”

This Iranian nuclear agreement is taking place with a regime that for the last 30 years has been subjected to various sanctions, but has not abated its pursuit of nuclear power. Ettinger said, “The question is, why would the same methodology – which hasn’t left a dent on the attempt of Iran to become nuclear – why is the same methodology – which didn’t yield anything for 30 years – supposed to yield something constructive in the next few months?”

According to Ettinger, the negotiations with Iran are “a combination of gullibility, probably an ignorance of what the Middle East is all about, as well as an eagerness to strike a deal because don’t we all know that peace is better than war?”

Ettinger summarized, “Some people have forgotten that if you want to prevent a war with a rogue regime, you’d better be equipped with a very substantial posture of deterrence, because reflecting complacency and reflecting estuation in the face of regimes invites war; [it] does not postpone war.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.): Restoring “Under God” to Air Force Academy Oath

by Bethany Brock

November 21, 2013

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” and explained why he and 27 other representatives wrote a letter to the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson, about the deletion of the phrase, “so help me God,” from the oath in the Cadet Handbook.

Pompeo sees the deletion of this phrase as “an attack of core freedoms and our Christian nation” and as a part of a larger attempt to remove religious freedom from military institutions.

These are not isolated random events,” Pompeo asserts, “They are a concretive effort by folks who are on what I call the ‘hardcore progressive left’ who want to take religion out of the American mainstream, who want to paint it as irrational or paint those who hold dearly to their religious beliefs as being outside of the mainstream or the norm. The military institutions are certainly a part of that.”

The phrase, “so help me God,” is a part of the oath, but is optional for military members to include when taking the oath to serve.  Pompeo pointed out that the Supreme Court has evaluated matters similar to this phrase both in the public square and in military institutions and found them both proper and constitutional.

He affirms, “This is not about establishment. This is not about denying other folks freedom to exercise their religious rights. This is about a basic set of values and a basic set of core religious freedoms, so we asked the Superintendent to reconsider the decision that has been made. We want to work with the Department of the Air Force, as well and get the leaders inside of the Air Force at large to reconsider this.  We are hopeful that they’ll start to do that.  I hope that’s what they ultimately conclude and I hope to get this right for the nation.”

Pompeo understands that military institutions are usually one of the first places that cultural changes take place. “In some cases I’m very proud of that. There are certainly some things that the military has led the way on. But this is a place that the left has determined they can make inroads.”

I’m optimistic that the military leadership – both civilian leaders and those in uniform will see this for what it is and move back and allow these deep traditions of religious freedom to continue to exist,” concluded Pompeo.

Click here to listen to the entire interview

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas): Obama Administration Doesn’t Believe in Rule of Law

by Bethany Brock

November 20, 2013

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” to give an update into Congress’s investigation into the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups: 

We want to let the American people know that we have not forgotten about the IRS abuses of grassroots American organizations and to remind everybody of what’s going on. We haven’t stopped our oversight in Congress of this issue, Benghazi, Fast and Furious or some of the other abuses of the Obama Administration. With respect to the IRS matter, we just want to let the American people know that we still hear them and they still have a voice up here,” said Flores.

Flores said many of the investigations that Congress is involved in should be further along than they are currently. “The administration is slow-playing us on every request for information. In some cases, we have had to issue subpoenas to get the information we’ve requested. In some cases, we’ve had to hold some folks in contempt.” 

Flores believes that the IRS investigation will follow a similar track, “We’ll have to issue subpoenas to compel the administration to produce information and ultimately, we may have to hold some people in contempt of Congress to get to the bottom of this matter.”

And when I say get to the bottom,” Flores continues, “I mean that we want to know who knew what and who told the IRS to target these grass roots organizations so that we can hold those people accountable. And of course the ultimate objective is to make sure it never happens again.”

The IRS’s targeting of grass roots organizations is part of a larger pattern of abuse and cover-ups and scandals that have come out of this administration.  According to Flores, “The IRS is just one of many problems that comes out of an administration that doesn’t believe in a rule of law.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins: ‘This President is Losing Credibility Day by Day’

by Bethany Brock

November 14, 2013

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to give an update on Obamacare:

We didn’t believe that this law was going to be helpful or that promises would be kept.  We knew healthcare was going to get more expensive and people were going to have fewer benefits.”

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released the number of people who have registered for an Obamacare exchange health insurance plan. The current number of those enlisted is far lower than the administration’s projected numbers.

We could easily have a market-based competitive model [of healthcare] that brings in the private sector so that these health insurance  plans could be something that people want to buy and might be able to afford.”

Shimkus said the problem with Obamacare is that people cannot tell what services are provided by the various health care policies, even though policies are required by law to list the services provided. One service people are particularly concerned about is whether plans they buy cover abortion.

If you go to the plans and they don’t say that, then you’ve got some adamant pro-life constituents of mine trying to go on an exchange plan, but they don’t know if their money is going to cover abortion or abortion services, which they do not want their money to go to,” Shimkus said.

He added, “According to polling, this president is losing credibility day by day. When you lose credibility or trust of the American people, you are in real trouble. It’s embarrassing for the chief executive of this country to be equivocating and misdirecting and redefining issues.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md): Obamacare Causing Real Pain for American Families

by Bethany Brock

November 5, 2013

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” and provided information about the latest developments of Obamacare:

A lot of American middle class families are being hurt by this plan. Even if the [Healthcare.gov] website works perfectly, you still wouldn’t be able to keep your plan. It would still be 41 percent more than the plan you have now, and you probably wouldn’t get to keep your doctor.  Even if the website worked perfectly, this is not about a website. This is about a basic change of the way you get your health care- putting a government bureaucrat in between you and your physician and that is not the way you want your health care delivered.”

The Manhattan Institute has released a current survey of the cost of all new healthcare exchange plans offered around the country. Harris points out that healthcare rates have increased an average of 41 percent. “Families are hard pressed to pay their health insurance bills now, much less 41 percent more,” Harris said.

Harris said Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) filed a bill in the Senate that will allow Americans to keep their current insurance if they want to. The House will be voting on this bill next week.

I hope the President has a change of heart because he’s causing some real pain in American families right now,” Harris concluded. Click here to listen to the entire interview

Sebelius and Transparency at the Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing

by Bethany Brock

November 1, 2013

On Wedneday morning, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the roll-out debacle of Obamacare. Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) called the members of the Committee to order and stated that the purpose of the hearing was to “achieve fairness for the American people, and transparency” in the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.”

Americans were assured that their experience would be equivalent to other online experiences such as booking a flight or ordering pizza,” Upton said as he looked straight at Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “Today’s hearing is about fairness for the American people who are losing their coverage or seeing their premium skyrocket as high as 400 percent,” Upton said.

Once Sebelius was sworn in and seated before the Committee, the room stilled, reporters positioned cameras and prepared notepads, and all waited with anticipation.

In the summary of her written statement, Sebelius apologized for the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov. She agreed that the flawed launch was a “miserably frustrating experience,” and affirmed the American people that they deserved better. In addition to reporters, interns, and Hill staffers attending the hearing, the members of the gallery ranged from veterans wearing Vietnam or Korea ball caps to tourists who came to the hearing in jeans and tennis shoes.

Questions from members of the Energy and Commerce Committee ranged in topics from the security of Americans’ personal information, the cost of the creation and the maintenance of the website, the lack of freedom in choosing health care options, to how the HHS plans to deal with the November 30 deadline for nationwide coverage.

When Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked a question about the cost of the website, she requested that it be pulled up live. As everyone looked towards the screen, HealthCare.gov appeared with a page saying that the system was down.  Blackburn asked for a ballpark price for this disabled website; and Sebelius reported that this non-functioning website cost $118 million and has cost an additional $56 million to fix so far. This report was met with a noticeable rise in tension and awkward glances around to gauge others’ reactions.

Overall, the atmosphere of the room was inquisitive and people seemed genuinely interested to get answers on the Obamacare .

One question, however, that didn’t receive a clear answer was Rep. John Shimkus’s (R-Ill) transparency question. Shimkus asked if the American people would be able to see which healthcare plans in the federal exchange offer abortion coverage, and if Sebelius would provide committee members a list of these plans.  Sebelius said she “thought” she could provide a list and when pressed further said, “Sir, I can’t tell you what I don’t firmly know right now.” As the time expired, and the floor was given to another congress member for questioning, this question was left with an unsatisfied silence.

Representative John Fleming (R-La.) Calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Resignation

by Bethany Brock

October 24, 2013

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) appeared on Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” and shared more about a potential delay for the individual mandate of Obamacare as well as Secretary Sebelius’s failures as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the rollout of Obamacare:

I called for her resignation and am calling on the President to ask her to resign if she doesn’t do it voluntarily. The Department of HHS, now with Obamacare, fully has under its control 1/6 of the largest economy in the world- the health care of the United States of America,” Fleming said.

Leading up to the rollout of Obamacare, Fleming said Secretary Sebelius was reassuring that it would be launched smoothly. Just days before the rollout of Obamacare , Sebelius said customers would have a wonderful experience going online to purchase their insurance.

She made it sound like it would be like going to the fair or riding on the ferris wheel. Then it was launched on October 1 and it’s been an absolute disaster. Secretary Sebelius is CEO of HHS, so she alone should be held accountable for that. The firing or resignation should begin with her.”

Fleming has been insisting that the individual mandate in Obamacare be delayed stating, “Americans have to sign up, meanwhile hundreds of thousands are being canceled off of their current insurance. So we have millions of Americans caught between a rock and a hard place where they are going to be forced through mandate and taxation to sign up for this but aren’t capable of doing so and they won’t have an alternative insurance because they were canceled off their current insurance.  I think it’s just inevitable that the individual mandate will be delayed for some months or at least a year.”

Click here to listen to the entire radio interview

Todd Starnes Appears on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins”

by Bethany Brock

October 8, 2013

Todd Starnes from Fox News on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins: We’ve come to a point in America where we have to take a collection for bail for our military ministers.

Todd Starnes, a Fox News reporter and a speaker at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, appeared on Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” and described an event this weekend where nearly 50 government contracted military chaplains who were furloughed due to the government shutdown were banned from performing Mass on military bases:

I received word from many of my readers.  They confirmed that weekend Mass on their base had in fact been canceled. There were no services. Many have had to go off base to go to church this weekend,” Starnes said.

One of Starnes’s readers told him that at Langley Air Force Base, a priest was told that if he came on base and held Mass, he and his supervisor could be punished and they both could face the possibility of getting fired. 

One of my readers emailed me.  He was on a military base where they did have a Catholic priest (who was not contracted by the government) and they talked about taking up a collection to cover bail for any priest who defied the government and went ahead and celebrated Mass after all.  Now that, in my estimation, is the lowest of low. It’s come to a point in America where we have to take a collection to cover bail for ministers,” Starnes said.

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

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