Americans protest health bill (photo: Americans for Prosperity)
The level of intense anger at Washington is heating up as several high-profile groups are calling on millions of Americans to slam Congress with phone calls, e-mails and faxes demanding that lawmakers vote “no” on the health-care bill.
As WND reported, reforms pushed by President Obama and other Democrats may be approved without ever actually having a direct vote, but could be “deemed” to have been passed and then signed into law by Obama. The process is called the “Slaughter Strategy,” named for Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Rules Committee.
‘Deceiving the American people’
Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit group that focuses on constitutional litigation, has distributed a letter to every member of the House, showing that the proposed “Slaughter Strategy” is unconstitutional. Its members have slammed Congress with more than 250,000 faxes expressing outrage over the bill.
Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution states, “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; … in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.”
The Founding Fathers included Article I, Section 7 in the Constitution to keep Congress accountable to the people, Liberty Counsel explained.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Louise Slaughter are attempting to deceive the American people by refusing to cast votes on the actual language in the Senate health-care bill,” the group said in a statement. “The president and his allies in Congress are masters of confusion and deception. They have a political agenda which distorts the facts regarding health care.”
Liberty Counsel warned that the Senate health-care bill funds abortion, rations care, limits freedom and will bankrupt America.
“The president and his allies in Congress are masters of confusion and deception. They have a political agenda which distorts the facts regarding health care,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “Last night President Obama said he is not concerned with the process. In other words, the end justifies any means. It is unbelievable that the president would disregard the Constitution and the rule of law to push a narrow political agenda that most Americans have rejected.”
‘Fourth down and goal to go’
Likewise, the American Family Association, or AFA, has joined the fight, sending out action alerts to its entire 2.5 million-member network, urging them to contact their representatives and press them to vote “no” on any and all versions of health-care reform proposals.
AFA also sent targeted action alerts into districts of 46 Democratic congressmen whose positions on this weekend’s vote remain uncertain.
Buddy Smith, AFA executive vice president said, “It’s fourth down and goal to go, and Democrats are trying desperately to push government takeover of health care across the goal line. The American people need to stand as one against this radical attempt to remake our country and put government bureaucrats between their families and their health-care providers.”
‘Will the government ever stop?‘
The Home School Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA, blasted the current legislation, saying it poses a serious threat to parental rights and homeschool freedom.
William Estrada, HSLDA director of federal relations, explains that Section 2951 on Page 568 of the 2,074-page bill, titled “Maternal, Infant, And Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs,” would create a federal grant program to fund state home visitation programs where government officials – including social workers – would be allowed to visit homes of certain families “in order to promote improvements in maternal and prenatal health, infant health, child health and development, parenting related to child development outcomes, school readiness, and the socio-economic status of such families, and reductions in child abuse, neglect, and injuries.”
While Estrada notes that home visitation is voluntary, details of the programs are “open to being politically influenced by government bureaucrats who may think that they know more about parenting than do parents.”
He warns that parents may be pressured to adopt child-rearing methods that are against the family’s religious beliefs, and that home visitation officials could even threaten families and neglect investigations if they refuse to follow parenting education models.
“[F]undamentally, HSLDA believes that the federal government has no constitutional authority to fund and oversee home-visitation programs and parenting classes,” Estrada wrote. “Once the federal government gets a foot into the door of families’ homes, will it ever stop?”
Obamacare protest in Washington, D.C. (photo: robbybphotos, Flickr)
Praying for Congress
Focus on the Family Action criticized the health-care legislation’s funding for abortion and urged Americans to put pressure on the lawmakers to reject the bill. Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family Action’s vice president of government and public policy, called the legislation and the process by which Democrats are planning to pass it “fraught with danger.”
“If you think you know what’s going on, you’re missing something because I can barely understand it,” Minnery said. “There’s two processes – this deem-and-pass thing and reconciliation – both of which are highly questionable when used in these circumstances. We have never before seen a push on a bill of this magnitude that will give government control over 16 or 17 percent of the economy done in an atmosphere in which there are insufficient votes and these arcane procedures being used for it.”
Minnery said Democrats are struggling to round up votes, but he doesn’t believe they have enough yet. He suggested people call their representatives’ district offices because so many people are jamming phone lines at the Capitol. Focus on the Family also encouraged people to call this week during its daily radio broadcast.
Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst with Focus on the Family Action, said there is a lot wrong with this bill.
“We are down to the wire,” she said, “and the historic vote is almost upon us. Americans must not delay in telling their lawmakers to ‘start over’ on health care and to vote ‘no’ on a health-care bill that throws open the door to federal funding of abortion.”
Focus on the Family Action host Stuart Shepard asked that Americans pray for their representatives and ask God to give them wisdom and insight before the vote.
‘Driving a stake through the heart’ of Obamacare
Freedomworks reported 130 economists signed a letter to the White House warning that the tax hikes needed to pay for a $1 trillion plan would slow economic growth and eliminate jobs. They warned that the bill would raise taxes by almost $500 billion over 10 years and a significant portion of the tax increases would fall on small business owners. They also stated that the bill would impose a tax of $2,000 per employee on employers with more than 50 employees that don’t provide health insurance.
“In addition to constricting economic growth and reducing employment, the health care bill will increase spending on health care and will increase the cost of health coverage,” the economists wrote. “The new and higher taxes on America’s small businesses and workers included in the bill are detrimental to job creation and economic growth, especially now given the fragile state of the economy.”
As WND reported, a fierce campaign is urging Americans to go “Code Red” in an emergency effort targeting wavering House Democrats who are vacillating on whether they will vote for the bill.
The Tea Party Patriots announced today that tea partiers will be back in Washington, D.C., on March 20 to storm the House offices and demand that lawmakers vote “no” on the bill.
Actor John Voight will join the crowd at noon. The following organizations are also joining the effort: Let Freedom Ring, 60 Plus, Institute for Liberty, FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform.
Meanwhile, Obama may be having trouble keeping his own supporters advocating for the legislation. Even left-leaning organizations such as the National Council of La Raza, or NCLR, which ardently worked toward an Obama victory, appeared disillusioned by the legislation. The group announced today that it will oppose the health-care bill being considered by Congress unless major changes are made during reconciliation. It said the Senate version does not go far enough to cover “all U.S. residents.”
Even some in the mainstream media have expressed skepticism over the current plan.
“When even the Associated Press says that premiums will go up under Obamacare, and the Washington Post says the Democrats ‘reconciliation’ strategy is ‘dodgy,’ you know you’re dealing with something that not even honest liberals can support,” noted Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issue analysis. “We need to drive a stake through the heart of this legislation and make sure it never comes to life again.”
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