Democrats Block Human Trafficking Bill; Republicans Could Block Loretta Lynch Vote

Photo credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

After being passed unanimously through the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, the Senate failed to advance legislation tightening human trafficking laws Tuesday due to abortion language in the bill. As a result, Senate Republicans could end up blocking President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.

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The Senate voted 55 to 43 on S. 178. It had 36 Republican cosponsors and 20 Democratic cosponsors.

According to its summary, the bill aimed to expand “the definition of ‘child abuse’ under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to include human trafficking deterrence programs that assist law enforcement and other entities in rescuing and restoring the lives of trafficking victims, while investigating and prosecuting offenses involving child human trafficking.”

The bill would have established a fund to raise money for victims. It also included the Hyde Amendment, which would prohibit the funds from being spent on abortions, a point of contention not raised when S. 178 was being voted on in committee.

“You can blame it on staff, blame it on whoever you want to blame,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said last week. “But we didn’t know it was in the bill, and…the bill will not come off this floor as long as that language is in the bill.”

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cautioned ahead of the vote that the Loretta Lynch nomination won’t come to a vote until the human trafficking bill is complete. “We have to finish the human trafficking bill,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.

“Democrats filibustering help for terrorized women and abused women would represent a new low for the Senate,” stressed McConnell before the vote on the Senate floor Tuesday. “And the American people would not soon forget it. Nor should they.”

S. 178’s principal sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas,  had some choice words for Senate Democrats who, he argues, turned their back on the legislation.

“To our colleagues who are filibustering this legislation, are you prepared to turn your back on the thousands of people living every day in bondage and who are desperately clinging to the hope that someone, someone will lend them a helping hand?,” Cornyn said Monday.

“Are you prepared to abandon these children and these other victims of human trafficking who deserve a roof over their head, someone to lean on, and somehow, some way to get a fresh start in life?”

h/t: Politico

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Mike Huckabee Destroys John Kerry’s Iran Position In This Brutal Letter

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

As he explained on his website, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee drafted a letter and sent it to Secretary of State John Kerry to air a number of grievances regarding his stance on Iran’s nuclear pursuits. Scroll down to read the entire letter.

Huckabee began by stating the same case made by 47 Republican senators who endorsed a previous letter explaining that any deal between Barack Obama and Iran that bypasses Congress would not survive the current administration. He then cited Kerry’s reference to the aforementioned senators’ action as “unconstitutional,” noting that their intent was to prevent the Obama administration from “once again deliberately bypassing Congress and exceeding its constitutional authority.”

Huckabee then made his critique more personal by bringing up an apparent hypocrisy from Kerry’s past.

“In 1985,” he wrote, “you did more than just send a letter to a foreign nation — you flew to Nicaragua to negotiate with Daniel Ortega and other Sandinistas despite express opposition from the Reagan Administration.”

He went on to disparage Kerry’s willingness to side with Iran over America’s closest Middle Eastern ally, Israel.

Though he acknowledged his “greatest respect” for Kerry’s service in the military and in the public sector, Huckabee concluded that he hopes the 2004 Democrat presidential nominee “will extend respect to those faithfully executing their oath of office in the U.S. Senate and to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who like you, want to stop terrorism worldwide.”

Read Hucakbee’s letter in its entirety below:

 

March 16, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry

United States Department of State

2201 C Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I find your opposition to congressional oversight offensive and hypocritical and your posture towards Israel deeply disturbing.

Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” you described the letter forty-seven U.S. Senators signed and sent to Iranian officials regarding ongoing nuclear negotiations as “unconstitutional.” Congress has the constitutional responsibility to serve as a check-and-balance on the executive branch. As has been done with immigration, health care and many other issues, the Obama Administration is once again deliberately bypassing Congress and exceeding its constitutional authority.

Frankly, your criticisms are hypocritical. You launched yourself into the public spotlight by directly and publicly criticizing the executive branch in a Senate committee hearing forty-four years ago. In 1985, you did more than just send a letter to a foreign nation—you flew to Nicaragua to negotiate with Daniel Ortega and other Sandinistas despite express opposition from the Reagan Administration.

You describe the Senate letter as “unprecedented” and “wrong.” The fact is, your willingness to trust Iran and undermine Israel is what is unprecedented and wrong.

Moreover, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently came to Washington and explained how a deal with Iran would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, threaten Israel’s existence and embolden terrorists around the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains. Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. As an American, I am embarrassed that you, Vice President Biden and other high-ranking administration officials boycotted Netanyahu’s address to Congress yet never miss an opportunity to visit with Iranian leaders.

I have the greatest respect for your long record of service to our country, beginning with combat in Vietnam. During those difficult years, you risked your life in a war that many Americans experienced only from afar. I also respect your role as Secretary of State. Hopefully, you will extend respect to those faithfully executing their oath of office in the U.S. Senate and to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who like you, want to stop terrorism worldwide.

Respectfully,

Governor Mike Huckabee

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

McConnell Issues Ultimatum To President Obama About ‘Bad’ Iranian Nuclear Deal

Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared on CNN on Sunday to discuss the imminent Iranian nuclear deal and the options congressional law makers have moving forward during President Obama’s negations.

“The President is about to make what we believe will be a very bad deal,” McConnell said. “He clearly doesn’t want Congress involved at all and we’re worried about it.”

“We don’t think he ought to make a bad deal with one of the worst regimes in the world,” he added.

His comments come on the heels of endless Democratic criticism calling the 47 senators who signed the open letter unpatriotic and traitors.

McConnell, however, stood firm, much like Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., did when confronted with opposition, by pointing back to the Constitution and clarifying that any deal done without the consent of Congress will not last after Obama’s term is complete.

McConnell concluded by outlining two possible routes in the ultimatum: either a deal is done and it will come to Congress, or, if there is no deal, “ratcheting up sanctions” would be the next appropriate step.

h/t: IJReview

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

4.7 Reasons The Israel-Supporting #47Traitors Are Actually #47Patriots

47Traitors Link

Courtesy of LouderWithCrowder.com 

The power of the pen.

President Barack Obama wields it to single-handedly write or rewrite laws in direct opposition to the Constitution. And liberals rejoice. Surely, this man is a hero, the greatest President of our times.

47 United States Senators wield their pens to write not a law, but a letter (violating nothing in the Constitution). Liberals are outraged. Surely, these men are traitorous, villainous dogs unfit to walk the planet! (No, seriously, you should check out the #47Traitors hashtag on Twitter.)

But how does writing a letter (again, which in no way violates the Constitution) make one, or in this case, 47, a traitor? Shouldn’t we be calling them the #47Patriots, instead?  We say yes.  Here’s why:

1.  Any deal made between a foreign nation and the President should seek majority approval by the Senate. If a deal doesn’t receive said approval, it is merely an agreement between Presidents, not between the nations in question. Conservatives asked the GOP to have a backbone. Here ya go, folks. President Obama would be more than happy to bypass the Senate in his Iran nuke deal. He’s probably going to do it. But the GOP’s saying: you go right ahead and try, but the whole world’s going to know we agree with Netanyahu on this one – not you.  We can smell the sketch in the air and want nothing to do with it.

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2.  The Logan Act doesn’t bar lawmakers from meeting with or speaking to foreign leaders.

ThatWord

 

3.  But liberals say, “The White House wasn’t going to bypass the Senate – this is just a low blow by Republicans!” Wrong. The White House had every intention of bypassing the Senate. Bad idea.

WH says if nuke deal is reached with Iran it won’t be a treaty subject to Senate ratification.

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 9, 2015

unclesamdeal

4.7  The letter. Below. Courtesy The Blaze.  Before you go calling somebody a traitor, did you actually even READ the letter which is supposedly a personal attack on the President? Because it’s not. What it is is a history lesson mixed with a warning. And it’s pretty awesome. When was the last time you saw something this gutsy-yet-beautiful signed by nearly half the Senate?!

Cotton Iran

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Why Did The GOP Write That Stupid Letter Anyway?

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

There we go again, Republicans.

We keep shooting ourselves in the feet — and at the worst possible times.

Things were going pretty well for the GOP until Monday.

President Obama was getting major grief from Republicans (and even some Democrats) for preparing to sign America on to a horrible nuclear arms deal with the Iranians.

Hillary Clinton was ensnared in an email-deleting scandal of her own making that was so obviously unlawful and politically devious that even the liberal media were attacking her.

So what did 47 Republican senators do?

They attracted the full attention of the mainstream media by sending a letter to the Iranian ayatollahs reminding them that any agreement the president signs without approval of the Senate can be undone by the next president faster than you can spell Bibi Netanyahu.

Nice job, Republicans.

Yes, what you told the Iranians in the letter was right. Any B-plus middle-school civics student knows that the Senate gets to ratify or reject treaties made by the president.

But sending an open letter to Iran was dead wrong — and politically stupid.

It merely gave Democrats — and their media buddies — a chance to change the subject and accuse Republicans of irresponsibly trying to sabotage the president’s foreign policy.

What rookie Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and his co-signers did with their letter was nothing new.

Members of Congress have been trying to score political points by undercutting the president’s treaty-making power for decades.

Ted Kennedy did it in the late 1970s when he tried to get the Soviets to do something to embarrass Jimmy Carter so he could take the nomination from Carter in 1980.

Kennedy pulled the same slimy trick against Ronald Reagan in 1983, when he sent emissaries to Moscow and offered to obstruct my father’s anti-Soviet foreign policy in Congress if the Kremlin helped Teddy run for president in 1984.

In 1987, Democrat House Speaker Jim Wright stuck his congressional nose into the negotiations between the Reagan administration and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

More recently, who can forget Nancy Pelosi’s jaunt to Syria in 2007, when she and a gang of House Democrats made nice with Bashar al-Assad at the same time the Bush administration was trying to put pressure on Syria to work with it on Mideast peace talks?

Those 47 Republican senators didn’t need to send a public letter to Tehran to remind the Iranians how America’s separation of powers works.

What was wrong with Sen. Cotton and a few others writing an op-ed piece about the Senate’s treaty-ratifying powers for the Wall Street Journal?

I bet the Iranians would have gotten the message just as well.

Instead, Republicans only brought attention — bad attention — on themselves for doing exactly what many of them had rightly criticized Pelosi for doing.

Republicans in the Senate should have shut up and let Obama negotiate and sign the treaty with Iran, bad as it is bound to be.

Then they could have pointed out to the Iranians and everyone else that the deal needed to be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate — and that 47 Republicans were strongly against it.

The letter was a blunder. Until the senators sent it, Iran was exclusively Obama’s problem.

All the media attention was on the president’s defense of his treaty and Netanyahu’s concerns about how dangerous and naive it was.

Republicans should be sitting pretty right now, and the media should be focusing on Obama’s and Hillary’s problems.

But now, the Iran nuke deal is not just Obama’s issue. It’s the Republicans’ too.

And if anything goes wrong, which it probably will, you can bet that Republicans will — as usual — get most of the blame.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom