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On the Hill

The House has just passed an omnibus funding bill which keeps the federal government and its agencies going until the end of fiscal year 2009 on September 30.(See the main page, “The House Gets It Right”).

And here’s what we working on in the 111th Congress, under the leadership of Toni Van Pelt, Government Affairs Director:

– lobbying for the Paycheck Fairness Act, to ban pay discrimination

– organizing comments to undo the “provider refusal” regulation, a Health and Human Services regulation that would permit reproductive health professionals to refuse their services on ideological grounds (see our post on the main page);

– organizing congressional briefing on global warming issues;

– working with coalition partners on nominations for appellate judges who will dispense equal justice under the Constitution;

– responding to amendments on the stimulus bill, the appropriations bill, and the budget that would affect women’s reproductive freedom;

– publishing a position paper opposing faith-based initiatives because they violate separation of church and state (http://www.centerforinquiry.net/opp);

– working with coalition partners to remove “charitable choice” and faith-based clauses from legislation in Congress;

– Urging passage of the whistleblower act, stalled in the Senate. See the main page of the blog;

– Supporting H.R.6263, Women in Academic Science and Engineering

– Supporting H.R.6314, the bill to promote the potential of women in STEM.

Note: if you want to communicate with members of Congress or the administration, please use email, fax or phone. Postal mail (“snail mail”) doesn’t reach the addressee for weeks because it is sent to an out-of-town facility to be checked for anthrax or other poisons and arrives looking chewed up because it’s been through machines.



1. Rodrigo Neely - April 22, 2008

I need to get on informing my friends, readers, and listeners about this stuff.

2. Lois Manning - March 6, 2009

Regarding the “provider refusal” regulation: Does it apply ONLY to reproduction or does it cover any type of health care that offends the provider. For example, if a Jehovah’s Witness hospital employee were working in any capacity in an emergency room and was presented with an accident victim who was bleeding out, could the employee refuse to provide a blood transfusion because of his religious beliefs? Could it possibly be constitutional to allow refusal rights only for abortion and/or contraception but not any other religious consideration?

I understand Obama is planning to overturn that regulation, thank goodness, but it would be comforting to know that it could never pass constitutional muster for any reason.

Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy - March 7, 2009

Thank-you, Lois, for your comment. Your example shows why this “provider refusal” regulation was so dangerous. We hope the discussion may be moot now because of the rescission regulation, but HHS will need everyone’s comments supporting it.

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