Notes from the November 16th Bloggers Briefing
On the heels of a very encouraging New Members’ Reception yesterday, Marjorie spoke at today’s Heritage Foundation’s weekly bloggers briefing alongside pro-life Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH). The presenters shared encouraging reports about opportunities for legislative gains in the next Congress.
Among the first to present, Congressman Jim Jordan shared some wisdom about the place of social issues in the party’s 2011 and 2012 agenda.
Rep. Jim Jordan to Bloggers: ‘We’re the Party of Principle’
“When we act like us, we win. When we act like them we lose,” Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said, repeating the words of a colleague. He was referring to the GOP’s tendency to sometimes stray from the values that distinguish it from other movements.
“These elections were all about cutting spending, repealing health care and, I would add, returning to the values that made our country great, including a respect for human life,” he said. “We are the party of principle.”
The congressman emphasized the importance of electing leaders who ascribe to that philosophy in both matters of fiscal and social concern. He explained that fiscal responsibility and adherence to pro-family values were two principles of the Republican Party that complemented each other naturally, especially given the recent focus on the health care reform bill.
His point fed well into a question asked during the question and answer time following his presentation: “Shouldn’t Congress learn how to walk and chew gum?” The question referred to Congress’ failure in the past to both cut spending and pass laws that protect social values. The Congressman laughed then vehemently agreed, adding a plug for the Smith-Lipinski “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” and Mike Pence’s “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act.” These two bills, he explained, will go a long way toward restoring fiscal and social responsibility – a theme SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser later echoed in her own presentation.
Congressman Jordan also warned that, assuming no major tax increases were passed during the lame duck session, we can expect Congress to vote in January on repealing the health care bill. That vote, he said, would require strong pro-life voices like the ones SBA List helped to elect in order to undo much of the damage.
SBA List to Bloggers: No ‘Truce Candidates’ for the Pro-Life Movement
Next, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser discussed SBA List’s successes in the 2010 election and its legislative priorities in the 112th Congress. During her question and answer session, the question was posed whether, in light of the conflict over the place of social issues within the GOP, SBA List would be inclined to support any “truce” candidates who could be perceived as being solid on the Life issue without being outspoken about it.
“Absolutely not. Now is not the time to compromise or retreat,” Marjorie said. She re-emphasized the number of gains the pro-life movement had made in the 2010 election and what a unique opportunity that presented for the next Congress.
“We’ve seen a sea change among the type of women in office – look at the substance of women who are running and winning,” she said, going on to describe how important it is to have pro-life party leadership and pro-life stalwarts like Congressman Jordan standing beside these women when they speak on the floor.
“So, what do we do with this improved strength of the pro-life movement? SBA List’s top priority is to stop taxpayer funding of abortion government-wide,” Marjorie continued, echoing Jim Jordan’s argument that the fiscal concerns that dominated the 2010 elections could be mutually addressed alongside the crisis of American tax dollars paying for abortion here and abroad.
“The government has tried to disguise the fact that it’s using our tax dollars to pay for abortions,” she said. “This at a time when we need to cut the national budget by 20 percent. It makes no sense.” Two bills will accomplish the goal of de-funding abortion in America, she said:
(Join the SBA List’s efforts to support both bills by signing our Stop Abortion Funding petition.)
Marjorie concluded by repeating Congressman Jordan’s warning against electing leaders who would ignore one leg of Reagan’s three-legged stool.
“No truce candidates,” she repeated. “We need leaders who understand and communicate the importance of all legs of the three-legged stool.”