What to Expect in Washington Next Week…
Catholic Advocate is launching a new initiative to educate our community about upcoming activities on Capitol Hill and around Washington.
In some way, all issues on Capitol Hill either affect or are of interest to Catholics. We will strive to update our community about the issues and encourage you to share the information with your friends and family.
Week of April 26, 2010 – April 30, 2010
In the U.S. Senate…
On Monday, April 26, 2010 at 5:00 p.m., a cloture motion to proceed to S. 3217, the Financial Regulation Bill will be voted on in the Senate. This is a complicated issue and extensive piece of legislation that will affect the financial industry and thus impact Americans doing business with those institutions. Unfortunately, bi-partisan work on the legislation has met numerous roadblocks. Some key issues to pay attention to include: whether the bill continues tax-payer funded bailouts; does it continue the “too big to fail” philosophy; does it add another layer of bureaucracy in Washington to an already complicated system.
Senator John Kerry (D, MA) is expected to unveil the latest version of climate change legislation. Higher energy costs and increased taxes are issues that affect all Americans. Higher energy costs also will have a major impact on parish facilities. The climate change issue must be watched. It will be interesting to see if Senator Kerry’s legislation will be similar to the bill authored by Congressman Henry Waxman (D, CA-30) and Congressman Edward Markey (D, MA-07).
The legislation passed in the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 will, for example, raise yearly household electricity bills $563 in Ohio, $500 in West Virginia, and $890 in Texas.
In the U.S. House of Representatives…
The House of Representatives will focus the beginning of their week on legislation managing the Department of Defense acquisition process.
In the Supreme Court…
President Obama is still contemplating his nomination for an Associate Supreme Court Justice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. There are different lists being batted around the media and Washington. What we do know is what President Obama will be looking for in a nominee, as he stated on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 when he answered a reporter’s question in the Oval Office.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Would you be willing to nominate someone who did not support a woman’s right to choose?
THE PRESIDENT: You know, I am somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction. Obviously this has been a hugely contentious issue in our country for a very long time. I will say the same thing that every President has said since this issue came up, which is I don’t have litmus tests around any of these issues.
But I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights. And that’s going to be something that’s very important to me, because I think part of what our core Constitution — constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that.
Important case being argued…
Supporters of Marriage under attack
On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding attempts by the Washington Secretary of State to publicly release the names of donors. Protect Marriage Washington filed a brief arguing “that traditional marriage supporters whose names were publicized have endured death threats, physical violence, and property damage in the state of Washington and across the country. He [Protect Marriage Washington lead counsel Jim Bopp] also asserted that “the Washington Secretary of State plans to release the names to groups who have stated their intent to post the information on the Internet, aiding those who wish to harass petitioners.”
Catholic Advocate encourages our community to pray for Jim Bopp, his team, and all those who support preserving the sanctity of marriage.
Other Issues to Watch
On April 22, 2010, the House voted to go to conference with the Senate on H.R.2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2009. This issue has been moving slowly through Congress. It appears Congress was motivated, or the Obama Administration finally sent word they would start to engage on the issue, when Iran announced on April 14, 2010 that they had enriched uranium from 3.5 to 20 percent pure once again defying the United Nations.
Catholic Advocate has been watching this issue closely as it has moved through Congress.
Senate Passes Iran Sanctions on Gasoline Imports – January 29, 2010
Why Is the Obama Administration Going Soft on Iran Sanctions? – January 26, 2010
In addition, Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson has met with leaders in Congress and joined with others to sign letters of concern on Iran to the Obama Administration.
Catholic Advocate will continue to watch these issues and update our community.