Senate bill to restore conscience rights has the support of *32* Senators. Let’s get that to at least 51.By
The Obama administration first proposed this onerous HHS mandate requiring that all private insurance plans must cover sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs back on August 1.
On January 20, despite considerable protest and personal lobbying by Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, the White House refused to provide religious exemption for religious-based schools, hospitals and charities.
When this terrible regulation was first announced, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, authored a bill called The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act or S.1467 (read the full text of the bill.) Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) quickly signed on as the primary cosponsors of the legislation.
Here is a list of the Senators who are cosponsors or have publicly pledged to vote for the The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act:
- 1. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO – Cosponsored on 8/2/2011
- 2. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL –Cosponsored on 8/2/2011
- 3. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH – Cosponsored on 8/2/2011
- 4. Sen. John Thune, R-SD – Cosponsored on 9/6/2011
- 5. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-NE – Cosponsored on 9/6/2011
- 6. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS – Cosponsored on 9/6/2011
- 7. Sen. Daniel Coats, R-IN – Cosponsored on 9/7/2011
- 8. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-MS – Cosponsored on 9/9/2011
- 9. Sen. James Risch, R-ID – Cosponsored on 9/12/2011
- 10. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY – Cosponsored on 9/14/2011
- 11. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 12. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 13. Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 14. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 15. Sen. Michael Enzi, R-WY – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 16. Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 17. Sen. John Boozman, R-AR – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 18. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 19. Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 20. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX – Cosponsored on 10/5/2011
- 21. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK – Cosponsored on 10/17/2011
- 22. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE – Cosponsored on 10/19/2011
- 23. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA – Cosponsored on 10/20/2011
- 24. Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH – Cosponsored on 10/31/2011
- 25. Sen. David Vitter, R-LA – Cosponsored on 1/26/2012 *
- 26. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA – Cosponsored on 1/31/2012
- 27. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-IN – Cosponsored on 2/1/2012
- 28. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-GA – Cosponsored on 2/1/2012
- 29. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY – Cosponsored on 2/1/2012
- 30. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ – Cosponsored on 2/7/2012
- 31. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA – Cosponsored on 2/7/2012
- 32. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA – Cosponsored on 2/7/2012
* Sen. David Vitter became the first Senator to cosponsor the legislation after the Obama administration reaffirmed the HHS mandate on 1/20/11. Vitter’s support is noteworthy because as Thomas noted he was the one of only three Republicans to vote for the Mikulski Amendment (Snowe and Collins being the others), which gave ObamaCare regulatory authority over these kinds of health services. Vitter is the first of these three Republicans to begin repairing some of his damage by supporting this bill.
The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act or S.1467 would restore the rights of conscience and the freedom of religion explicitly found in the First Amendment of the Constitution. One would think that this list should include all 100 Senators.
There is a companion bill in the House of Representatives, authored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE (endorsed by CatholicVote). Fortenberry’s bill, also known as H.R. 1179, now has 114 cosponsors, up from 97 on the day before President Obama reaffirmed the mandate.
But the Republican-led House would be expected to pass such legislation. It’s still important to contact our Representative in the U.S. House. And certainly House Republican leaders can put pressure on the Senate by passing Fortenberry’s bill. But ultimately we citizens need to burn up the phone lines and mount public pressure on Senators to pass this bill.
ACTION: If your two Senators are not on this list, call or email them today. Ask your Senators for their position for or against on S.1467 — and ask if they will sign on as a cosponsor of this bill. Let us know in the Comments what response you get from your Senator’s office. If you get an email, copy and paste the email in the comments.