LOOP: House approves $5 billion for border wall

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21
EDITOR’S NOTE  We will not be publishing a Loop on Monday, which is already Christmas Eve! See you on Wednesday, December 26th. The entire CatholicVote family wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas! 
BORDER/BUDGET SHOWDOWN   President Trump’s veto threat paid off. The House passed a spending bill which includes $5.7 billion for President Trump’s border wall. Senate Majority Leader McConnell will bring up the House-passed bill, but Democrats are expected to filibuster the bill.  READ
AFGHAN EXIT   The Trump administration is withdrawing approximately 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, in what is believed to be one of the first steps in ending U.S. involvement in the 17-year-old war. There are currently 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan.  READ
MATTIS OUT   Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is resigning his post, effective by the end of February. Mattis apparently took issue with President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria. Said Mattis: “You have the right to have a defense secretary whose views are better aligned with yours.” READ
FERTILITY IN USA WAY DOWN  “In 1957, 4.3 million babies were born in the United States — 4,316,233, to be exact. In 2017, 60 years later, the number was 3,853,472. That’s an 11% decline, in a nation whose population has nearly doubled over those six decades,” writes Michael Barone, on a new report by Lyman Stone called “Declining Fertility in America.” READ
HHS MANDATE  Democratic attorneys general from 13 states have sued the Trump administration. They oppose the Trump administration’s rule which allows employers to be exempted from the contraceptive mandate if they cite religious or moral reasons. READ
“DISCOURAGED” BY VATICAN   Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s Advent letter expressed concerns about the sex abuse scandal, and the Vatican’s handling of the crisis. He specifically cited the Vatican’s decision urging the U.S. bishops to not vote on any policies at their recent meeting. “I was among many who were surprised and concerned that the Holy See instructed the bishops not to vote on any of our abuse-related proposals.”  READ
ABORTION AND ELECTION 2018   Defeated pro-abortion Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, blasted abortion activists as “irritating” and “dumb” because they want her to talk about abortion more. McCaskill said she wanted these abortion activists to “just be quiet, roll up their sleeves, and work their a** off for me.”  READ
WORK REQUIREMENTS   President Trump signed the farm bill, and then directed the Department of Agriculture to expand work requirements for food stamps. “”Under this new rule able-bodied adults without dependents will have to work or look for work in order to receive their food stamps,” said President Trump. READ
SAINT OF THE DAY  An important Catholic reformer in Germany, Saint Peter Canisius earned a master’s degree at age 19, and then joined the Jesuits. He was a great writer and patron of the sick and imprisoned. Peter Canisius was an active member of the Council of Trent, and implemented its decisions. He also taught at the university level and helped found many colleges and seminaries. READ
DAILY READINGS  “Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.” (Ps 33:1)  READ
MUSIC  Here is some sacred music from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, to help you prepare for the Nativity of Our Lord. SHARE
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The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

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