According to respondents during John Kline’s Tele-Town Hall meeting, House’s priorities were clear :
#KlineTTH results: 42% say gov't spending & debt should be Congress' top priority. Nat'l security – 19%; Jobs 16%, Healthcare 11%, Educ. 9%.
— John Kline (@repjohnkline) May 5, 2015
So after another week’s recess to “tele-talk” with constituents, what’s up on John Kline and the House’s agenda ?
Spending … not yet even though the Highway Trust Fund deadline is approaching.
Security … yes, John Kline and the House approved H.R. 2048 USA Freedom Act, which authorizes unconstitutional bulk data collection on law-abiding Americans.
Jobs … nah
Healthcare … well, does abortion count ?
You may remember last January, House Republicans planned a vote on John Kline sponsored H.R. 36 Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act but stalled the vote as some Republicans feared not wanting to revive that whole “legitimate” rape question.
But yes, yesterday, the House acted on H.R. 36.
Let’s read how one Member explained the bill to his constituents
H.R. 36 would impose new restrictions on women and medical providers nationwide by prohibiting an abortion if it is determined that the fetus in question is likely to be 20 weeks or older. An exception would be provided if the life of the mother is at stake, but no exceptions are provided for the overall health of mother, or a terminal fetal anomaly.
This bill also requires an adult rape victim to seek counseling or medical care within 48 hours (from a provider that does not provide abortions) before she can receive a safe, legal abortion.
Those reasons and a respect for State’s rights were the basis of Richard Hanna’s (R-NY-22) NO vote.
Yep, you read that right … the Kline-backed H.R. 36 requires women to “seek medical guidance” and rape victims must have received counseling or medical treatment first. Young victims of incest would have to have had the crime reported to law-enforcement authorities or to a government office in charge of child abuse and neglect cases.
The bill also requires that when abortion were allowed after 20 weeks, a physician would be required to perform the procedure in a way that would give the fetus the best chance to survive, and a second physician trained in neonatal resuscitation would have to be present. It also requires a woman to sign a consent form agreeing to these arrangements.
Ignoring all those unreasonable provisions, John Kline voted YES.
YES and NO votes were largely along party lines … but there was one “Present” recorded.
That was from Jody Hice (R-GA-10) who previously explained his reasoning :
“During the campaign I signed a pledge with Georgia Right to Life to support their principles, which include no exceptions, so I plan to honor that pledge. And I plan to introduce a bill, the Sanctity of Human Life [Act], which is the strongest pro-life bill in Congress. It acknowledges that life begins at fertilization and the Constitution protects all life.
So I’m staunchly pro-life. I’m not going to stand against any legislation which will ultimately save lives, so in order to reconcile my pledge to the pain-capable bill, I plan to vote a ‘present’.”
Jody Hice is a lot like John Kline.
“I believe life begins at conception,” John Kline wrote to Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
Accordingly, John Kline has sponsored H.R. 816 “Life at Conception Act” to define when life begins.
John Kline embracing this definition that could not only jeopardize medically necessary abortion but also hormonal birth control, emergency contraception, many forms of assisted reproductive technology for infertile couples and the ability to treat ectopic pregnancies without endangering a person’s future fertility.
That’s John Kline … he asks what his constituents priorities are … and then wastes time voting for legislation that will never survive a Presidential veto.
Oh, and by the way, Richard Hanna also voted against H.R. 2048 USA Freedom Act explaining to his constituents :
Our national security threats are very real and 9/11 proved the need to stay constantly vigilant and ensure our homeland security policies allow us to know who is interacting with terrorists. However, the broad ability of the government to monitor the activities of American citizens concerns me. The balance of power initially envisioned by our founders has shifted dramatically, sometimes granting executive agencies far too much power to act and regulate unilaterally. I will continue to support policies that strike the proper balance between safety and civil liberties.
The bill substantially limits the scope of collection by the government for tangible things, and it offers small but real institutional reform to the FISA Court. However, I voted “No” on this bill because it would extend through December 31, 2019 the “Section 215” authority that allows for the government’s roving wiretap provision and the “lone wolf” surveillance authority. Further, information about Americans could still be swept up if originating overseas. Allowing a second “hop,” or set of records, may still allow for the collection of records with less than “reasonable, articulable suspicion.”
Further, the NSA could still search for records beyond telephone data with fewer restrictions.
Gosh, don’t you think every Member of Congress should issue a statement on every one of their votes … not just the ones that cast them in good light ?