Sep 18 2018
I am a Republican because I am a conservative. And I am a conservative because I believe the Constitution and the ideals it asserts in behalf of all Americans are worth protecting. Even when they are untimely. Even when they are unpopular. And especially, for the vulnerable, the marginalized, the forgotten among us.
Equal rights. Equal opportunity. Equal justice under law. Equal dignity under God.
We fail as Americans when we violate these ideals. When we exclude some number of our neighbors from their God-given share of our common inheritance.
When we declare, in the interests of expedience and in defiance of our national creed, that some people are less equal than others.
Such was the cruelty our nation - through our laws – long visited on African Americans, American Indians, immigrants and ethnic minorities; women; religious minorities like my own forebears in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; the disabled.
Happily, this is no longer the case. All of these groups – who taken together comprise the vast majority of all Americans – were at different times in our history affirmatively brought under the protection of the laws.
This work of inclusion, of expanding the circle of legal and constitutional protection, was not a natural, evolutionary process.
It was the work of vigilant lawmakers advancing the cause of justice at every opportunity, against the entrenched forces of the political status quo.
Republicans in this Congress have undertaken such efforts on behalf of certain priorities: in particular the tax relief and spending increases that are poised to yield a budget deficit of nearly $1 trillion this year.
But no such legislative progress has been achieved advancing the right to life nor the plight of those denied it.
For the second straight year of unified Republican governance – unified pro-life governance – Congress’s annual spending bills will include no new reforms protecting unborn children, or getting federal taxpayers out of the abortion business.
The House version of this Health-and-Human-Services spending bill included multiple reforms:
It denied taxpayer funds to the largest abortion provider in the country, Planned Parenthood;
It eliminated Title X family planning grants, which cross-subsidize abortion providers;
It prohibited federal funding of research on aborted fetal tissue;
It included the Conscience Protection Act protecting pro-life people and groups from funding discrimination.
None of these modest, common-sense spending reforms survived the House-Senate negotiations.
None was made a priority by the people empowered to set the priorities. The authors of this bill defend their 1.3 trillion dollar compromise.
And of course, this being Washington, I know it could always be worse.
But Mr. President, before this bill passes with overwhelming bipartisan support, despite being mostly unread by its supporters, someone ought to speak up for the Americans this legislation leaves behind.
The best measure of any government – of any policy or proposal – is its impact on “the least among us.”
Too often today, Washington acts as though “the least among us” refers to our most vulnerable incumbents rather than our most vulnerable constituents.
This $1.3 trillion spending bill exemplifies that confusion and fails that test. Under this bill, neither the unborn nor taxpayers are any more protected from the abortion industry than they were under President Obama and a unified Democratic Congress.
I understand that fighting on contentious issues comes with a cost. But so does not fighting on them, especially in the rare moments when we could win.
This bill is an opportunity missed – and missed at a time when we can’t be sure how many more we will be given going forward.
Some causes are worth fighting for, even in defeat - the God-given, equal rights and dignity of all human beings paramount among them.
The arc of history may, as I hope, bend toward life. But only if we bend it, Mr. President. I must oppose this legislation, but neither in anger nor sadness.
Rather, in hope, looking forward to another bill, another time – one that stands up for those Americans who ask nothing more than the chance to one day stand up for themselves.
As prepared for delivery
Confirmation hearing on the nomination of Hon. Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Sep 04 2018
Judge Kavanaugh, welcome, and welcome to your family and guests.
This is the third time you’ve had the quote-unquote privilege of appearing before this Committee. So you’re seeing some familiar faces on this side of the dais. You’re also seeing some new faces, but I think you’ll find that in a lot of ways, nothing has really changed since you were last here 12 years ago.
Jul 26 2018
And yet, here we are again, for the seventh time in six years, considering a so-called “straight” reauthorization. “Straight.”
Jul 18 2018
Jun 29 2018
It is easy to take for granted, or to forget. But so much of American history – and of human happiness – has depended on the ability of ordinary people to have a part of this earth they can call their own, “to dress it and keep it.”
Jun 20 2018
American taxpayers are currently responsible for 77% of that national debt. And the percentage is projected to rise to almost 100% in that same period of time.
On top of that, with interest rates set to increase, the payments on the debt will also likely double over the next 10 years as a percentage of total economic output.
Jun 12 2018
I would like to speak for a few minutes about a bipartisan amendment I have offered to the NDAA, the Due Process Guarantee Act.
Alexander Hamilton, writing in Federalist 84, called arbitrary imprisonment one of the “favorite and most formidable instruments” of tyrants.
May 24 2018
Last week, the Trump administration proposed new rules to finally bring federal policy back in line with federal law. This should not be controversial in a republic committed to the rule of law.
But this new policy touches the question of abortion, which tempts all three branches of our federal government to turn truth, justice, and the law inside out in the service of violence.
President Trump is resisting those temptations, and affirming that the law should do what it says.
In that position, he will be in charge of rebuilding a space program that matches the pioneering spirit and determination of the American people.
I have known Congressman Bridenstine for many years, and I know that he is just the man for this important undertaking.
Let us review his record. It will show that Jim Bridenstine’s service to our country is matched only by his eagerness to press the boundaries of sky and space.
And thanks to the Federalist Society for organizing this conference on restoring Article I of the Constitution, which is a subject near and dear to my heart.
Article I, of course, is the section of the Constitution that enumerates the powers of Congress.