FRC On the Hill (March 8-12): Covid Relief Spending, a Radical Foreign Policy Agenda, and Extreme Nominees
by Connor Semelsberger, MPP , Joseph Norris
March 12, 2021
Family Research Council wrapped up another busy week monitoring activity in Congress that affects life, family, and religious freedom and being your voice on Capitol Hill. Here are the most important Hill items FRC worked on this week.
Congress Passes the American Rescue Plan Act, Sending $450 Billion to the Abortion Industry
This week Congress passed, and President Biden signed, the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that has more to do with funding abortion than providing necessary relief to Americans. The bill was rammed through both chambers of Congress and despite Biden’s promise of unity, did not receive the support of a single Republican. Throughout the process, FRC worked diligently to add in key provisions that would prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion and promote religious freedom.
The bill includes funding for a litany of things, some having to do with the pandemic such as testing, vaccines, and economic relief in the form of stimulus checks. However this relief is held hostage by the billions that lack bipartisan restrictions on federal funding for abortion. For the first time in decades, taxpayer money can and likely will go to directly paying for ending the lives of the unborn. This in addition to the $10 billion that can be used to lobby for abortion overseas. The FRC team spent the week informing senators and members of Congress about just how much this bill subsidizes the abortion industry.
While Biden is trumpeting this bill as a “historic victory” for Americans, it is a devastating loss for the unborn and the consciences of Americans who do not want their taxpayer funds paying for the horrific practice of abortion.
See FRC’s resource for more information:
Secretary of State Charts out Biden’s Radical Foreign Policy Agenda
Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to highlight the foreign policy priorities of the Biden administration. Right from the beginning in his opening statement, Blinken openly stated the goals of promoting “women’s reproductive rights” and advancing “LGBT rights” across the globe. As a result, FRC has been tracking the Biden administration’s foreign policy actions to make transparent how dramatic of a shift this is from the policies implemented under the Trump administration.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a strong advocate for the unborn, directly challenged Blinken’s support for countries with population control programs and urged the administration to “speak out” against China and their forced abortion policy. Rather than committing to taking action, Blinken repeated his pledge that we need to focus on human rights across the globe.
The White House also took action this week to entrench a radical sexuality ideology by establishing a new Gender Policy Council via Executive Order. The stated goals of the Council include advancing gender identity and abortion in both domestic and foreign policy. The report stated the need to “promote sexual and reproductive health and rights” across the globe.
Biden’s Executive Orders and Blinken’s statements during the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing showcase the unilateral action the Biden administration plans to take on abortion and human sexuality. This is a far cry from Biden’s promise of unity and Blinken’s repeated promise to work with Congress.
The Senate Continues to Advance Biden’s Radical Nominees
This week, FRC was focused on informing senators about the radical positions of Biden’s nominees, as they are up for confirmation in the Senate. While many of Biden’s picks are concerning, these are the individuals chosen who warrant the most concern:
Shalanda Young: Nominated to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Young was advanced by the Senate Homeland Security Committee despite all Republicans present voting no. Senator Lankford provided great remarks explaining their opposition, highlighting Young’s shocking opposition to the Hyde Amendment and other protections against forcing doctors to perform abortions. See FRC’s blog on Young here.
Marcia Fudge: The Senate voted 66-36 to confirm Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) as the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Based on her record in Congress, there are deep concerns that Fudge will roll back protections for religious liberty in the name of LGBTQ equality. See FRC’s blog on Fudge here.
Merrick Garland: Confirmed by a 70-30 vote to be the next U.S. Attorney General, Garland passed with bipartisan support. This is in spite of reservations about a repeat of the Obama administration’s Justice Department.
Xavier Becerra: With a radical track record, Becerra needed a discharge petition vote of 51-48 to bring his nomination to the Senate floor, after a deadlocked vote in the Senate Finance Committee. Despite grave concerns over Becerra’s strong history supporting abortion, both Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) who have supported pro-life legislation in the past, publicly supported his nomination. See FRC’s blog on Becerra here.
Other Notable Items FRC Tracked This Week
- The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Vanita Gupta to be an associate attorney general. Gupta has taken radical positions on drug legalization and religious freedom protections.
- The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on expanding veterans access to fertility services with a goal of expanding in-vitro fertilization procedures for veterans without pro-life restrictions to protect human embryos from being destroyed.
- The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on loosening federal policies on controlled substances. Democrat leaders used the hearing to push legalizing marijuana as a social justice issue.