The United States House and Senate are back in Washington, D.C. for the full month of September. As Democrats set the legislative schedule, they have one goal in mind: win as many seats as possible in the November elections. This means the bills they put on the floor will force Republicans to take tough votes. Conservative voters, on the other hand. are looking for Members of Congress who will oppose bills dealing with same-sex marriage, federal spending, and Green New Deal policies. Both parties are vying for the undecided moderate voter which adds another layer to these votes.
Government funding is set to expire on October 1, 2022, which means avoiding a government shutdown will be a priority. An entirely new bill would never pass the Senate and be too controversial in an election year, so members are drafting a continuing resolution (CR) that maintains the previous funding levels for various federal agencies and programs. Democrats can’t help but muddy the waters of this otherwise simple process.
Rumor has it that Democrats want to attach a House-passed same-sex marriage bill to the CR. The ironically-named Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which recognized marriage as between one man and one woman. However, this “dis-Respect for Marriage” bill has no religious carveout meaning religious institutions would no longer be allowed to practice their sincerely-held beliefs on marriage. The Senate has tossed around the idea of introducing an amendment to protect religious freedom but that would be putting lipstick on a pig at best! If Senators want to defend traditional marriage, they should oppose the bill no matter what amendments are added to it.
Republican Senators are all over the map when it comes to their views on the codification of same-sex marriage. Some Republicans have publicly suggested they are open to the bill, including Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC). Sen. Collins even penned an op-ed with bill sponsor Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the Washington Post championing the bill. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) at one time signaled that he wouldn’t vote against it but walked back his statements after intense backlash. Sen. Baldwin claims to have spoken with an additional five Republicans who are likely to vote in favor. The fact that proponents now want to put this into the CR is a signal to us that the Senators’ time with their constituents during August recess has weakened their support.
In addition to the same-sex marriage provision, the White House has asked for a handful of emergency supplementals. President Biden has requested $13.7 billion in Ukraine assistance, $22.4 billion in COVID funding, $4.5 billion to combat the spread of monkeypox, and $6.5 in natural disaster relief. Ironically, $670 billion in previously passed COVID aid remains unspent. Liberals must think if they throw money at the current problems (problems created by their own policies) they will be seen more favorably during the elections. Voters should remember that only one party is to blame for the massive inflation and high taxes hitting Americans’ paychecks.
House and Senate Democrats are taking this week to form their spending strategy. Beginning next week, votes will begin on many of these controversial issues. Eagle Forum continues to oppose reckless spending as well as the Respect for Marriage Act. We encourage you to contact your Senators and Representatives to oppose any attempt to include the Respect for Marriage Act and any increased spending. Eagle Forum will score against these bills and send more information as it becomes available.