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Week Ending July 18, 2003
Religious Freedom Coalition
July 18, 2003 9:09PM EST





On May 21st the House passed the Child Medication and Safety Act (HR1170) by an almost unanimous vote of 425 to 1. The bill, introduced by Congressman Max Burns (R-GA), would put a stop to teachers and schools demanding that students be placed on drugs for their convenience or profit. (A school gets additional funds for every student it claims has ADD and for which some prescription is issued. Some poor school districts claim as many as 70% of their students as ADD to obtain these funds.)

Imagine being called into a school office and being told your B+ average child must take a drug because the teacher thinks he is not attentive enough and your only other option is to take him out of the school. This happens to parents every day. One school in Congressman Max Burns' home state of Georgia has 40% of its kids on Ritalin.

Congressman Burns' bill requires a medical diagnosis for a child, not a demand from a frustrated teacher. The bill specifically forbids a school from requiring drug use as a condition to continue attending. Believe it or not, this needed legislation which was voted for by almost every member of Congress, is going nowhere fast in the Senate. The Senate version was introduced by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). The Senate bill number is S-1390. No hearings have as yet been scheduled by the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (HELP) which is chaired by Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). If you have an interest in the bill moving through Senator Gregg's committee, you may contact him by clicking here. You may also want to contact your own Senator and ask him to support this much needed legislation which protects the rights of parents and the health of children.


This is the continuation of the welfare reform begun when Republicans took over the House and Senate in 1994. In 1996 Republicans authored a major welfare reform act. Because of public opinion, Bill Clinton was forced to sign the legislation and later took credit for much of what it accomplished. Welfare reform changed the face of the nation and the face of poverty. Since the Republican plan to put welfare recipients back to work began, the number of women heads of household who are in poverty has dropped from 66% to just 44%. Single mother employment is up from 48% to 62% and the number of welfare cases in the nation has dropped nearly 60% to the lowest level since 1961. Republicans want to make more gains, getting more people off welfare and back to work. Democratic Senators led by Ted Kennedy (D-MA) want to go back to the old system, if not at once, then by degree. Kennedy wants to exempt all single mothers from work and keep them on welfare as long as they have a child under six years old at home. Under his plan the government would be paying women to have a child out of wedlock every six years to stay on welfare. That is the way it used to work.

New provisions in S-5 would require states to get 70% of families on work programs rather than the 50% required now. The bill would also help those transitioning from welfare to keep medical assistance until they have private insurance. The bill also creates anti-fraud provisions to keep able bodied adults from continuing on the welfare rolls.

Also important for social conservatives, S-5 would allow the direct allocation of food stamps to domestic violence and substance abuse centers, even those that are faith-based. That means faith-based organizations that provide food, shelter and training would be able to obtain food stamps to assist in the their feeding programs. All Senators should be encouraged to support the provisions of S-5 as introduced by Senator Jim Talent (R-MO). Compassionate social-conservatives should continue to support legislation such as this which lifts people out of poverty and gives them back the pride that comes with self sufficiency.


As I have mentioned in my last two updates, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban which passed in the Senate on March 13th and in the House on June 4th, is being held up once again by Senate Democrats using an arcane rule. The main culprits are left-coast Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and abortion industry lapdog Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). These two have taken advantage of a small difference in the wording of the House and Senate versions and have blocked the appointment of members to a conference committee to iron out the differences. Boxer and Harkin threaten to hold up the process until the majority of Senators agree to insert language endorsing Roe v. Wade. My sources in the Majority Leader's office tell me that he will manage to get the conference committee members in place by the August 1st recess. I would point out that so many Democrats voted to end the gruesome murder of late term babies that the final Senate vote in March passed with 64 votes. Despite this broad support for the end of partial birth abortion, Boxer and Harkin continue to block the will of the people, the Senate and the House.



On Tuesday the House, by a narrow vote of 216 to 211, passed a pro-life amendment offered by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NY) to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005 (HR-1950). His amendment capped funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at $25 million and gave the President authority to deny all funding if it is determined that UNFPA is assisting nations such as China with their forced abortion policies. This effectively cuts the UNFPA funding because it indeed does fund "health" programs in China and other nations where forced abortions are performed. With Congressman Chris Smith's amendment attached, the bill was then passed by the House by a vote of 382 to 42.


Not having much else to do the House this week passed H. Res. 296 marking the 100th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Company. The resolution concludes by stating that the House of Representatives: "...recognizes the achievements of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, widely regarded as a tremendous American business success story and one of the top performing companies in America, as its employees, retirees, suppliers, dealers, customers, motorcycle enthusiasts, and friends worldwide commemorate and celebrate its 100th anniversary milestone..."

The majority Whip's weekly agenda can be viewed by clinking here.


Despite the now week long attacks by Democrat Senators and the major liberal media outlets such as Disney-owned ABC, the ratings of President George W. Bush remain high. The liberal attack dogs targeted thirteen words of the President's last State of the Union address in which he claimed Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium from Nigeria to build nuclear weapons. The Democrats and the media have found some men no longer in the intelligence community to claim this was untrue. The Red Coats have come forward to help the President.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived for an official state visit yesterday. Out of the gate he made it clear that British Intelligence services were correct and that Saddam Hussein did indeed try to build nuclear weapons. At a news conference with the President he stated, "We based our decisions on good sound intelligence." The comments of the President and the Prime minister are available at this White House link.


Our mission team in the West Bank has concluded the vacation Bible school for Palestinian children. The program was a great success with many area children attending a vacation Bible school for the first time. A number of the military barriers around the location we use have been temporarily removed because of the "Roadmap to Peace" instituted by President Bush and agreed to by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. HAMAS and other terrorist groups are making it clear that they will not extend the truce more than three months total. The terrorist gangs are apparently using the time to rebuild their arsenals rather than to rebuild peace. Donations to RFC work in the Holy Land to support Christian schools and Christian education can me made at our 'Give A Gift' site.


In the past, hundreds of RFC supporters have purchased our "Under God" silk tie from our Internet store. Recently we have increased the selection of ties at the store to include more patriotic and Christian ties. All the ties are 100% silk and very attractive. To look at the complete tie selection please click here. The prices have been reduced slightly, but shipping is still included.

Our new video documentary, Holy Land Settlements, about the Jewish settlements in Samaria and Judea, which was mentioned in several previous updates is now in stock at a reduce price of $14.95! Click here for more information. Check our Internet site at for last minute updates! Please feel free to forward this weekly update to friends. We are now at 60,000 subscribers .... Get the word out and help us hit the 100,000 mark by the end of the year! See below for subscribe/unsubscribe instructions. God richly bless you, that is my prayer.

William J. Murray, Chairman - Religious Freedom Coalition

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