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13 Catholic Senators Vote Against Religious Liberty

3-1-12 Posted by Admin in Blog, Religious Liberty 1 Comments
Church and State

Today, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 51 – 48, defeated the effort led by Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri) to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act as an amendment to pending legislation. Thirteen Catholic Senators joined the majority.

“By consenting to the disastrous HHS mandate, the U.S. Senate has taken the unprecedented step to deny our religious liberties instead of defending the Constitution,” said Matt Smith, president of Catholic Advocate. “It is disappointing to witness a group of senators misled on this issue at the expense of one of our key founding principles.”

The following is a list of how the 24 Catholic Senators voted on the Blunt amendment:

  1. Senator Mark Begich (Alaska, D) – Opposed
  2. Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska, R) – Supported
  3. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida, R) – Supported
  4. Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa, D) – Opposed
  5. Senator James Risch (Idaho, R) – Supported
  6. Senator Richard Durbin (Illinois, D) – Opposed
  7. Senator Mary Landrieu (Louisiana, D) – Opposed
  8. Senator David Vitter (Louisiana, R) – Supported
  9. Senator John Kerry (Massachusetts, D) – Opposed
  10. Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland, D) – Opposed
  11. Senator Susan Collins (Maine, R) – Supported
  12. Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri, D) – Opposed
  13. Senator John Hoeven (North Dakota, R) – Supported
  14. Senator Mike Johanns (Nebraska, R) – Supported
  15. Senator Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire, R) – Supported
  16. Senator Robert Menendez (New Jersey, D) – Opposed
  17. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York, D) – Opposed
  18. Senator Bob Casey Jr. (Pennsylvania, D) – Supported
  19. Senator Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania, R) – Supported
  20. Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island, D) – Opposed
  21. Senator Pat Leahy (Vermont, D) – Opposed
  22. Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington, D) – Opposed
  23. Senator Patty Murray (Washington, D) – Opposed
  24. Senator Joe Manchin III (West Virginia, D) – Supported

“Faithful Catholics should take the opportunity to thank those Senators supporting our religious liberties,” added Smith. “It is our duty as laity to hold those who did not support our values accountable and vote our conscience when the time comes.”

The full Catholic Advocate Congressional Scorecard is available at

The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary (in the case of individual coverage) without penalty.”

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One Response to 13 Catholic Senators Vote Against Religious Liberty

  1. Barry Cole says:

    I don’t know how the Senators who opposed the bill can call themselves Catholic. These are the same senators who supported Obamacare in the first place. There are several listed who strongly support abortion and euthanasia legislation. A review of their legistlative voting records would make one question whether these people who claim to be Catholic and probably receive Holy Eucharist many Sundays of the year shouldn’t be denied receipt of the Holy Eucharist by the bishop of the diocese where they live or where they worship. Perhaps these people should read Chronicles and Kings and learn what God did to the people misguided by their leaders in matters of moral law. When you put God first, everything else falls into its proper place. There is no rewriting of the definition of social justice. God prescribed the formula in Exodus and Deuteronomy. The rules can be counted on the fingers of one’s two hands – obey the 10 Commandments and practice the eight Beatitudes.

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