A TIMELINE FOR CATHOLICS
THE BIDEN REPORT
A TIMELINE FOR CATHOLICS
U.S. consumer prices surge 4.2%, the biggest jump since 2008. The price of lumber has spiked since the beginning of this year, sending the price of new homes upward. A global microchip shortage has set back the building of new cars, sending the price of used cars soaring. Other sectors, like airfare and the hotel industry, had artificially low prices because of the pandemic last year but are seeing prices rise as Americans begin spending again.
President Biden reverses course and restarts construction on a 13.4 mile stretch of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley. According to reporter Bill Melugin of Fox News, the Biden administration made the reversal in response to pressure from local residents and politicians. President Biden’s administration had halted all wall construction during his first month in office.
The Department of Health and Human Services announces that it will be enforcing a new ban on so-called discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The decision receives immediate blowback from advocates for freedom of conscience, who warn that doctors will now be pressured to administer “transgender medicine” against their religious convictions or medical judgment. “This move by HHS is a setup to normalize and strong-arm doctors into administering puberty blocking drugs on children, performing sex-change surgeries, and more,” says CatholicVote President Brian Burch.
Economists had predicted that one million jobs would be added in April, but non-farm payrolls increases by just 266,000 as unemployment rises slightly to 6.1%. An analyst for Bank of America noted that 4.6 million workers left the labor force during the pandemic, but only half are expected to return by the end of the year. For workers earning less than $32,000 a year, it’s often more lucrative to collect unemployment with the $300 weekly bonus than it is to return to work.
The Biden administration has spent $3 billion to house tens of thousands of migrant children who crossed the southern U.S. border illegally shortly after President Biden was sworn into office. Nearly 25,000 migrant children are in the custody of the federal government, separated from their families.
The Biden administration plans to crack down on elected officials who attempt to legislate against the aims of the LGBT movement at the state level, according to a prominent LGBT leader. The new information came from Alphonso David, the head of the Human Rights Campaign, America’s most powerful LGBT organization, who lamented to The Daily Beast that a number of states have passed, or are in the process of passing, laws to protect women and girls from having to compete against biological males in school sports.
The Biden administration quietly ends the military’s involvement in the construction of a border fence on the southern border, leaving several holes in the wall. “Consistent with the president’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions,” the Department of Defense says in a statement.
In response to liberal backlash, President Biden announces that his administration will increase the number of refugees admitted into the United States. “Today, I am revising the United States’ annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year,” Biden says. However, the president admits that the admissions target will not be met by the end of the fiscal year.
The Biden administration informs the UN that the United States has withdrawn from a historic pro-life declaration started by the Trump administration. The Biden administration declares to the other 34 countries who signed the document: “Upon reviewing the Declaration, we have reservations that aspects of the document are not consistent with our current Administration’s policies, including those relating to women’s health, LGBTQI equality, and gender equality.”
Sen. Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat, calls out President Biden for not including a plan to address the border crisis in his presidential address to Congress. Kelly stated: “This continues to be a major problem that shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of Arizona communities. And I think it was important to highlight that it wasn’t part of the address [Wednesday] night.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers whether to clarify the Church’s stance on the reception of Holy Communion by politicians, such as President Biden, who oppose the Catholic Church on grave moral matters such as abortion. “Because President Biden is Catholic, it presents a unique problem for us,” says Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, who chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “It can create confusion. … How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the Church’s teaching?”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki says President Biden “respectfully disagrees” with the U.S. bishops, who object to the administration using the bodies of aborted children for scientific research. The Biden administration rescinded a Trump-era ban on the use of aborted human remains earlier this month.
The Biden administration withdraws a proposed rule that was initiated by the Trump administration that would have allowed single-sex shelters to accept clients based on sex, not gender identity. The decision by the Biden administration “abandoned women and girls under the guise of being ‘inclusive,’” says Kate Anderson, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sends a directive authorizing U.S. outposts to fly the “LGBT pride” flag on the same flagpole as the U.S. flag starting in May. Under U.S. law, embassies and other official outposts must be granted permission by the State Department before posting any banners other than the American flag on the flagstaffs outside their offices. Heritage Foundation foreign policy analyst Daniel Kochis says: “Pushing ‘progressive’ narratives often runs afoul of local religious or cultural sensitivities and will besmirch the U.S. as an impartial interlocutor in many countries.”
The Senate votes 51-49 to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general. Gupta previously served as head of the civil rights division at the Justice Department during the Obama administration. Gupta claimed to support religious freedom but argued in 2020 that the Little Sisters of the Poor should not have a religious exemption from having to provide abortifacients in their health plans.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slides 321 points, or 0.94%, over news that President Biden would nearly double the capital gains taxes for individuals earning more than $1 million to between 36.9% and 43.4%. The tax increase would reportedly finance Biden’s American Families Plan, which is expected to provide paid family leave and free community college. The current tax rates on capital gains are 0%, 15%, and 20%, depending on your filing status.
The House approves legislation to make Washington, DC, the 51st state in the country with a 216-208 vote. It’s the second time the House has passed this legislation in two years. President Biden has previously voiced his support for the effort to make the capital city the 51st state. It faces a steep climb in the 50-50 Senate, where it must clear a 60-vote hurdle.
The Biden administration filed an appeal Tuesday against a January federal court order in North Dakota that said the government cannot force doctors to perform controversial “gender reassignment” surgeries against their consciences. Lawyer Luke Goodrich, who serves as chief counsel for the pro-religious liberty law firm Becket, called the move an attempt to establish a “Transgender Mandate,” adding that it is “bad for patients, doctors, and religious liberty.”
College of the Ozarks is suing President Biden over a so-called anti-discrimination executive order that “requires private religious colleges to place biological males into female dormitories and assign them as females’ roommates.” The private Christian school in Missouri says that religious freedom is “under attack” from the Biden administration. “College of the Ozarks will not allow politicians to erode the essential American right or the ideals that shaped America’s founding,” said Dr. Jerry Davis, the school’s president.
President Biden reneges on a key campaign promise to do away with President Donald Trump’s 15,000 annual cap on refugee resettlements. Then after intense blowback, the White House announces it will lift the cap next month after all. The initial announcement of yet another reduction of the refugee number — this time to precisely the same number Trump had set and which Biden had campaigned against — riled Biden-supporting Catholics.
The president of Guatemala says President Biden’s confusing messaging encouraged smugglers to drop off children at the U.S.-Mexico border. President Alejandro Giammattei says: “They were compassionate messages that were understood by people in our country, especially the coyotes, to tell families, ‘we’ll take the children, the children can go in and once the children are there they will call their parents.’ And so those messages were confusing. Not because of the way they were communicated, but because of the way they were translated here.”
The Biden administration cites the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to authorize the prescription of the abortion pill mifepristone through the mail. This new Biden policy allows at-home, self-administered abortions. “With this action, the Biden administration has made it clear that it will prioritize abortion over women’s safety. Allowing unsupervised chemical abortions via telemedicine, without requiring timely access to medical care, will put women in grave danger,” says Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.
President Biden announces executive orders on guns, including attempts to reduce the proliferation of 3D-printed guns, known as ghost guns. Under current law, manufacturing ghost guns is permitted for personal use. Biden says: “I want to see these firearms treated as firearms under the gun control act.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that a record 172,331 people were taken into custody trying to cross the southern border in March alone. Included in that number were 18,890 child migrants, which is the “largest monthly number ever recorded.” That number shattered the previous highs of 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014.
President Biden suggests that Pope Francis called getting vaccinated for COVID-19 a “moral obligation.” When asked for the source of this claim, the White House points to a January television interview where Pope Francis said: “I believe that, ethically, everyone has to get the vaccine.” But the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also made clear in December that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”
The Biden administration considers restarting construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall started by former President Donald Trump. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says during a conversation with ICE employees that the administration is considering finishing “gaps in the wall.” A new AP-NORC Center poll shows that 56% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border situation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki again refuses to respond to concerns that the Equality Act would threaten the conscience rights of doctors. EWTN White House Correspondent Owen Jensen asks Psaki at a White House press briefing: “What does the president, who we know is Catholic, say to Catholic doctors, Catholic institutions who are fearful that if the Equality Act passes [it] has the potential to trample on their conscience rights?”
The Pentagon announces that the military will now perform gender transitions for service members. Once an individual gets a diagnosis from the military medical system that gender transition is “necessary,” commanders then must act on that request within 90 days. Thomas W. Spoehr, a retired Army lieutenant general, calls the new policy “an unforced error.”
President Biden formally announces his $2 trillion infrastructure plan that he claims will be the largest “investment in American jobs” since World War II. The Biden plan would allocate $621 billion for transportation-related infrastructure, $300 billion to improve drinking water systems, $300 billion for affordable housing and upgrading schools, $400 billion for elderly and disabled care, and $580 billion for job training, research, and development.
President Biden is expected to end former President Trump’s ban on temporary foreign workers. The Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers had sued the Trump administration, claiming the lack of foreign labor was causing their businesses “irreparable harm.” But critics said that the businesses simply wanted cheaper labor.
A staffer for President Biden blocks Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, from taking video at a migrant facility. Cruz says: “Biden sent a political operative from DC to block our cameras and even threatened another senator to obstruct legitimate congressional oversight.” Nevertheless, Cruz is able to post several pictures and videos that detail what he calls “a humanitarian and a public health crisis.”
The Biden administration is reportedly working on developing vaccine passports. Some businesses have already indicated that they will require proof of vaccination for people to enter their businesses. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation objects to the passport because it would “create a two-tiered system that bars people who can’t work, shop, or attend school because they don’t have a cell phone or access to testing.”
President Biden has said that the filibuster is a Jim Crow relic of the segregationist era of American history. But Democrats used the filibuster against Republican legislation 327 times just last year alone.
The Senate confirms controversial Biden pick Dr. Rachel Levine in a 52-48 vote, making him the nation’s assistant secretary of Health and Human Services and America’s first transgender Cabinet member. The confirmation comes amid grave controversy, with Levine embroiled in an ongoing scandal involving his conduct as health secretary in Pennsylvania. Under Levine’s tenure, thousands of elderly people died in Pennsylvania nursing homes and other care facilities.
Vice President Kamala Harris is reportedly taking calls with foreign leaders on behalf of President Joe Biden. Harris has spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In January, the vice president spoke with World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. By comparison, the New York Post notes: “A review of press notices from [Vice President Mike] Pence’s final year in office reveals no readouts of direct calls with the leaders of foreign nations.”
Twenty-one states filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration for the canceling of the Keystone XL pipeline. In explaining the lawsuit, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said: “The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress — not the President. This is another example of Joe Biden overstepping his constitutional role to the detriment of Montanans.”
An influx of unaccompanied minors continues along the southern border, causing a Texas migrant facility to be at 729% pandemic-era capacity. “Some of the boys said that conditions were so overcrowded that they had to take turns sleeping on the floor,” Neha Desai, a lawyer representing migrant youth, told CBS. The facility in Donna, TX, is designed for 250 migrants but was holding more than 1,800 people on March 2.
President Biden’s pick for deputy budget director, Shalanda Young, believes taxpayer-funded abortions are necessary for “racial justice.” In a written portion of her confirmation process, Young wrote: “Eliminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it most significantly impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income and more likely to be women of color.”
The House secures final passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill. Unlike all previous COVID relief bills, this one passed without the inclusion pro-life Hyde Amendment protections that prevent moneys from being used to pay for abortions, despite objections by Republicans and faith leaders — including the U.S. Bishops.
Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, told Congress and President Biden that they shouldn’t force pro-life Americans to oppose COVID relief. “We urge President Biden and the leadership on Capitol Hill not to force upon Americans the wrenching moral decision whether to preserve the lives and health of the born or unborn, all of whom are our vulnerable neighbors in need,” Gomez said. He noted that for 45 years Congress “has maintained that taxpayers should not be forced against their conscience to pay for abortions.”
In a virtual meeting with Mexico’s President López Obrador, President Biden speaks of his devotion to “the Virgin of Guadalupe” and how he still has a rosary that his son was wearing when he visited her shrine. Biden’s continued references to faith have caused bishops to respond. Last month, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said: “The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching.”
The White House refuses to deny that the Equality Act’s “pregnancy discrimination” clause would require doctors to perform abortions, sex-change operations, or sterilizations. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki offers no reassurances when EWTN White House correspondent Owen Jensen asks if the Equality Act would violate doctors’ conscience rights.
President Biden orders an airstrike in Syria, destroying facilities located at a border control point. The facilities had allegedly been used by Iranian-backed militant groups. “These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel,” says Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.
The House passes the Equality Act in a 224 to 206 vote. The legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under civil rights law. The bill would also eliminate religious liberty protections in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The U.S. bishops’ conference oppose the bill and say it would “punish” religious groups opposed to gender ideology.
Dr. Rachel Levine, President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, supports the use of puberty blockers and the medical “transition” of minors as a means of preventing suicides among gender-confused minors. Levine is a man who claims to be a woman.
President Biden calls on Congress to quickly pass the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Biden says it would provide “long overdue federal civil rights protections.” But the U.S. bishops say the Equality Act would “punish” religious groups opposed to gender ideology: “Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith.”
Owen Jensen, a reporter for EWTN News Nightly, asks White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if Biden would “guarantee” that the coronavirus relief bill wouldn’t fund abortions. Psaki responds that President Biden’s “view on the Hyde Amendment is well-known” and that she does not “have anything new for you” on the matter of abortion funding in COVID relief. The pending legislation would provide $750 million in funding for global health and community health centers, $50 million for Title X funding, and aid for people to pay COBRA insurance payments — all without specific pro-life protections.
President Biden announces that Vice President Kamala Harris will be in charge of handling the surge of migrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border. “This increase has been consequential. I can think of nobody who is better qualified than this woman, who led the second-biggest attorney general’s office in America,” Biden says.
President Biden tells a CNN town hall audience: “It’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office, but a vaccinator, how do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?” The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was given on Dec. 14. In fact, Biden himself got the second dose of the vaccine on Jan. 11, nine days before he was sworn in as president.
President Biden withdraws a proposed Trump administration rule that would have required universities and K-12 schools with foreign exchange programs to disclose any financial connections with the Confucius Institutes, which are backed by the Chinese government. “The Biden administration is sending a concerning signal about its scrutiny of CCP influence in academia and telling academic institutions that they don’t need to be transparent about their ties to China’s regime,” says House Foreign Affairs ranking member Michael McCaul, R-TX.
The attorneys general from 14 states send a letter to President Biden urging him to reconsider his decision to revoke a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and say they are “reviewing available legal options.” The letter was organized by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, who said revoking the pipeline construction “will increase heating and fuel costs for families and businesses across the country and disrupt other industries including agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and even the affordability of consumer goods.”
President Biden rescinds the pro-life Mexico City Policy, which ensures that foreign aid would not go to organizations that perform or refer for abortions. The Reagan administration first announced the policy at a U.N. conference on population and development in Mexico City in 1984. Every Republican president has enforced the pro-life policy and every Democratic president has removed it within their first days in office.
The Biden administration is set to ban new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters for one year. The American Petroleum Institute projects 1 million job losses could occur by 2022. At this point the oil and gas industry provides 10.3 million jobs in the United States, with workers making an average salary of $101,181.
The Biden administration rescinds the “zero tolerance” policy from the Trump era that resulted in family separations at the border. The Trump administration had called for law enforcement to refer all adults for prosecution who illegally crossed the border, even those with children. A spokesman for the Biden Justice Department says such a policy is “inconsistent with the department’s longstanding principle that we exercise judgment and make individualized assessments in criminal cases.”
President Biden revokes the Trump administration’s ban on gender transitioning in the military, allowing troops to serve on the basis of their gender identity. Trump announced his ban in 2017, and the Supreme Court upheld it in 2019. The RAND Corporation estimated in 2016 that there are about 2,450 transgender active military personnel out of approximately 1.3 million members.
President Joe Biden issues a statement celebrating the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Biden says he is “committed to codifying” the decision into federal law and that he will be “appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.” Pro-life organizations quickly rebuke Biden. The previous day, Biden’s spokeswoman called him a “devout” Catholic.
People who sponsored one of the 200,000 American flags at Biden’s inauguration were also sending a donation to Planned Parenthood, whether they realized it or not. “Unless donors pay careful attention and alter the default settings of the donation platform, the amount they give will automatically be split evenly among nearly 100 Democratic and progressive political-action groups, including one notable name: the Planned Parenthood Federation of America,” Alexandra DeSanctis reports.
President-elect Joe Biden selects Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as assistant secretary of health. Levine was born male but “transitioned” in 2011 and now claims to be female. Levine served as health secretary in Pennsylvania, where he is embroiled in an ongoing scandal involving the deaths of many elderly citizens due, critics say, to his handling of COVID-related policy.