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June 15, 2017 12:00 pm
David Christensen, Vice President for Government Affairs with the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. discusses a number of pro-life initiatives that are making their way through the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch in our nation’s capitol.
Right now we continue to see believe it's over $450 million euro federal taxpayers money going to plan their getting huge amounts of money for hard-working Americans.
And frankly, if they want to continue working that we should be paying his family policy with NC family Pres. John Rustin thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. Today we will be discussing a number of pro-life initiatives that are active in making their way through the US Congress and the executive branch in our nation's capital. Our guest today is David Christensen, VP for government affairs with family research Council in Washington DC even overseas of Percy's work on life, marriage, religious freedom in many other issues I David walking the family policy matter to try to have you on the show.
Hey, thank you for having me on could be with no day but I know Congress is working on another attempt at some variation of a bill to repeal and replace Obama care. What is the status of this legislation and what can we expect to see is this Bill begins to make its way to Congress. Great question that Senate Republicans are working right now to analyze the House passed bill that is a complicated bill. The just of it is.
Passes what essentially passed what already pastor 2015 in which Pres. Obama vetoed by repealing a lot of the guts out of Obama care, individual mandate, employer mandate, a lot of the tax penalties in their well and thankfully at the time departed Planned Parenthood. The house passed a similar provision. The tricky part is how to replace it. And so the house passed a bill that has tax credits for people based on age block grants Medicaid program, which would do two things. One is. It would save a lot of a federal taxpayer dollars and number two would give states more flexibility on how to run their Medicaid program for low income individuals to have some other provisions as well. We work really hard to make sure that the new funding streams in the bill had pro-life funding restrictions on it. We want to make sure that the Republicans are going to fund abortion, which was one of the major problems with Obama care centers can be tough. Sen. Burr actually said that I believe yesterday was in the news this morning. He doesn't think again to get a deal on a bill so there's some skepticism between I think the conservatives and some of the more moderate Republicans over how to deal with Medicaid expansion how to deal with the tax credits should they be age-based, should they be low income base way the Obama premium credits were obviously got a couple of Republicans who don't want to see you Planned Parenthood defunded.
Thankfully we have 50 Republicans that have voted for that already this year, I should say a similar provision related to state states abilities to define plan going.
But you know this is a complicated issue. I think it's pretty clear right now that the Senate Republicans want something different than what the house passed and there's a lot of technical budgetary procedural hurdles.
They have to get through to get this passed by only 51 votes. Most legislation require 60 votes budget related provisions can pass with 51 votes so long as the provisions are budgetary and and so there's a lot of conversations going on and course. The left is just hammering everything they know that there's a chance that this could past Pres. Trump could sign it and could undo Obama's legacy.
So that's kind of just an overview of some of the policy and political implications right now, but I'm guessing the next several weeks is where the pressure from conservatives on the Senators need to ramp up that's going to be important for them to hear from conservatives. Frankly, they're hearing from a lot of liberals corresponded groups Planned Parenthood desperate to kill this bill so it's important that all of our voices are heard at the end of May.
The Department of Health and Human Services released a draft regulation that seem to respond, at least in part to the president, executive order, which directed executive branch agencies to respect and protect Americans religious liberty rights, including those rights as it relates to the healthcare arena.
What we know about this draft regulation as it stands now and for the status of it. What we know that the regulation had been gone for the formal vetting process at HHS and then was sent office over to the office of management and budget. There sort of the government's budget arm that actually has to assess all regulations and as you know that you know there was a draft that was leaked out the draft that we read was really strong and protecting the rights of for-profit or nonprofit entities who have moral or religious conviction against paying for certain kind of contraceptives in their health coverage not to do so. And for those entities that have no problem doing that it would leave the contraception mandate in place course, the left has gone apoplectic over this thing that all women are to lose their concept of health insurance coverage, etc., which is entirely untrue and sort of miss lead to the fact that what you have is an Obama era regulation that was forcing to collect little sisters, the poor college Oklahoma Western University hundred and hundreds of religiously affiliated nonprofit requiring them essentially to be the gateway to providing the objectionable drugs and devices in the health plan facing penalties and those penalties were severe upwards of $100 per day per employee. So if you had 100 employees in a year you could take over $3 million worth of fines that that risks jobs etc. so with this rag and what we believe the administration is looking to do is to alleviate that for those who frankly just have moral objections to being punished by the government for disagreeing with them your listening policy not as a resource to listen to our radio show online resources that will place of persuasion in US community website, alleging also. In addition to the executive order on religious liberty that Pres. Trump issued several weeks ago. Soon after his inauguration, the president also quickly reinstated and even expanded the Mexico City policy. Tell us about this policy and the modifications that Pres. Trump made to well that's that's a great point that was a significant action that Pres. Trump took that caught the Mexico City policy because you know Ronald Reagan was a mixed Mexico City at the time he signed an executive order that barred US funding of international nonprofit NGOs who participate or perform abortions provide grants to organizations to help us with family planning overseas in that type of thing should be put pain in her know Marie stopes international International Planned Parenthood who promote and perform often abortion.
So what president to that yellow a bomber rescinded that Pres. Trump restored it and expanded it not only to cover the roughly 570 or so million dollars a year on family planning. We spent for overseas family-planning services. He expanded it to include all global health funding and will talk about $8 billion annually so that that was a huge expansion of the pro-life idea that we should not be using tax dollars to promote and advocate or help entities that are you paying or participating abortion out of the left would say well we don't use the federal dollars for we would use those tax dollars to kill the babies right but we know money is fungible. You know the point is our dollars should go to help people in need for global health. Whether it's under the Far HIV-AIDS malaria and tuberculosis, whether it's other healthcare needs. Whether it's even family-planning that should not be going and directing abortion promotion and participation. And so, this president signed on the law and received a lot of blowback, but that was a significant redirection of funds to do what they're supposed to do which is to help people not kill them. Now speaking of killing them. Planned Parenthood just released its annual report showing once again in an increase in the number of abortions are performed as well as an and get this I $77 million profit despite a reduction in the variety in the quantity of non-abortion services it provides the current status of federal funding for Planned Parenthood and is there any hope that Congress will finally defund this baby killing industry of our federal tax dollars. Great question and the answer is right now.
We continue to see over 400 and I believe it's over $450 million a year of federal taxpayers money going to Planned Parenthood and that's through multiple different programs.
A lot of it is Medicaid dollars grind like that and so were spending a lot of money on Planned Parenthood in their tap and and all kinds government programs to get tax dollars. The house healthcare bill would defund them in Medicaid and those mandatory programs and we are working really hard to make sure that the Senate bill moves continues to maintain that there is some discretionary funding that's not captured by that bill. But though the over 86% of federal funding for Planned Parenthood would be rescinded for Planned Parenthood so yelled that it's incredible how much money that they they have their over $1 billion a year organization of their getting huge amounts of money for hard-working Americans. And frankly, if they want to continue abortion that we should be paying for, well, exactly. In recent weeks on new undercover video has again exposed to the abortion industry's callous attitude toward unbilled children and its alleged trafficking of body parts of aborted babies.
What is being done at the federal level David to put a stop to this bowel product. Great question. The select panel on infant lives resolve this investigation last year of Planned Parenthood in and made 15 criminal referrals to the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood and the Senate Judiciary Committee also made seven criminal referrals sent back to Department of Justice a number of groups. FRC marks for life should be happening less number group signed a letter recently to the attorney general sessions asking them to investigate criminal referrals. The and you know it's it's the left. This they love Planned Parenthood and they loved Cecile Richards and their their fighting tooth and nail to stop that.
But the light is videos continue to show that the utter callousness not only the unborn child, but of women when were talking about changing the potential method of which that the baby would be in the womb.
In order to try to better target certain kinds of body parts. That's a violation of federal law absolutely ended his sale at yelp make profits on this so we think justice needs to be pursued and justice needs to be pursued to its conclusion in the work were optimistic. Obviously there's some legislation that's been introduced to increase the ban and clarified the federal law on what's called valuable consideration, you're not supposed to do an abortion for quote valuable consideration, which is a little loosey-goosey ended clarify that we shouldn't be funding it that awful researcher transportation representable to Meyer has has a bill along those lines were generating support for that so it's kind of a two-pronged strategy. We need a Department of Justice to continue its investigation. We need Congress to start to weigh in with legislation.
We have covered a lot of ground and nearly out of time for this week's work, our listeners go to learn more about the policies that we have discussed and how they can make a positive impact on these important pro-life matters absolutely well I mean you can always check in on FRC's website FRC.org family research Council is FRC.org and you look up our alerts and look up our informational policies and learn more about what's going on here at the federal level great. What we want to encourage your listeners to take advantage of that in many I'm sure already have the FRC.org bookmarked all in their browser so that they have quick access to that, but if you don't listeners. Please make sure you do that as you have done with Carolina family policy Council and NC family.org we work very closely and hand-in-hand with the family research Council in Washington DC and are so appreciative David of your great work and all of the efforts that family research Council makes on our behalf to protect and promote the sanctity of human life, religious liberty and family values in our nations capital and with that David Christensen I want to just thank you for your time and I just wish God's richest blessings on you on your family and all your efforts at FRC to promote and defend the sanctity of life religiously in these other issues, we care so deeply about John your precious and we really appreciate the work and have an voice for the voiceless along your policy matters. Production of NC family to listen to our radio show online, and for more valuable resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina. Our website see family.org and follow us on Twitter and