Blogs

Statement On President Donald Trump’s Executive Order Protecting Religious Liberty

Washington, DC – Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed issued the following statement on the Executive Order from President Trump to protect religious freedom.

“President Trump’s executive order removes a sword of Damocles that has hung over the faith community for decades by administratively repealing the Johnson Amendment and restoring the right to political speech by pastors, churches and ministries. By ending the Obamacare mandates that violate the religious faith of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based nonprofits, this executive order lifts a cloud of fear over people of faith and ensures they will no longer be subjected to litigation, harassment and persecution simply for expressing their religious beliefs.  This is just the first bite at the apple, not the last. We still support the full statutory repeal of the Johnson Amendment and Obamacare mandates, but this order is a giant step in the right direction in protecting the First Amendment rights of Christians and other Americans of conscience and faith. I applaud President Trump and his administration for this bold leadership in advancing religious freedom.”

 

 

 

Faith & Freedom Coalition To Key Vote American Health Care Act

Vote In Favor of AHCA Is Vote To Repeal Obamacare  

(Washington, DC) – The Faith & Freedom Coalition supports the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and will include the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives today as a key vote in the 115th Congress Scorecard and voter guides distributed to millions of faith based voters across the country.

Millions of Faith & Freedom members from across the country were alerted that a vote to repeal Obamacare is imminent and voters of faith continue to flood U.S. House offices with calls and emails encouraging them to vote in favor of the AHCA.

Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed also issued a letter of support for the AHCA to conservative Members of the U.S. House, encouraging them to listen to “the views of our millions of members and supporters, for whom repealing Obamacare is one of their top legislative concerns.”

“The pro-life, pro-family and pro-religious freedom provisions in the AHCA properly address the views of millions of voters of faith for whom repealing Obamacare is one of their top legislative priorities and we encourage the House of Representatives to pass the AHCA,” said Faith & Freedom Chairman Ralph Reed. “Those provisions include the defunding of Planned Parenthood, ending of federal taxpayer subsidies of abortion, restoring the Hyde Amendment, and ending the mandate on faith-based charities such as Little Sisters of the Poor to subsidize medical services to which they object as a matter of their faith.”

According to the Government Accounting Office, over 1,000 federally subsidized plans nationwide were covering elective abortion in 2014. Obamacare contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion, and abortion expanding regulatory mandates, and Faith & Freedom strongly encourages members of the House to vote for the AHCA to eliminate the-subsidizing and abortion-expanding provisions of Obamacare. The AHCA would also restore the principles of the longstanding Hyde Amendment and prohibit any future federal tax credits from subsidizing the purchase of plans that cover elective abortion.

“Obamacare has assaulted the consciences and violated the faith of millions of Americans by subsidizing numerous abortion providers and forcing faith based organizations to pay for elective abortion, in direct violation of their Constitutional rights, and we are happy to support the AHCA, which will end those provisions,” said Faith & Freedom Executive Director Tim Head.

The AHCA also reforms Medicaid to give the states greater flexibility to provide quality health care for the neediest among us. This is consistent with the principle of subsidiarity, which calls on those of faith to meet the needs of the poor in a manner closest to those in need, not through a wasteful, inefficient and distant bureaucracy.

Under the American Health Care Act, open-ended Medicaid checks from Washington will be replaced by a system of per capita spending with specific funding for the elderly, blind and disabled, children, and the able bodied adults who were enrolled under ObamaCare.

“We strongly support allowing states greater flexibility in using Medicaid funds that will permit innovations promoting personal responsibility such as work requirements and premium participation similar to those in Florida and Indiana, consistent with the principles of subsidiarity and federalism,” said Head.

Promises Made, Promises Kept: Trump and the First 100 Days

Promises Made, Promises Kept: Trump and the First 100 Days

By Ralph Reed, as featured on DailyCaller.com.

As we assess the report card for President Donald Trump after his first 100 days in office, it is useful to recall that during the campaign there were three moments that solidified then-candidate Donald Trump’s support among evangelicals and voters of faith.

The first came in May 2016, when Mr. Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  This was the first time in U.S. political history such a list had been released by a major party presidential nominee. The second was Trump’s selection of full-spectrum conservative and Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.  The third came during the third and final presidential debate (just days after the release of the Access Hollywood tape), when Trump made a deeply personal and impassioned plea on behalf of unborn life in response to a question on abortion.  After Hillary Clinton blithely dismissed concerns about late-term abortions, Trump shot back that “if you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me.”

These inflection points (what strategist Lee Atwater once referred to as “defining moments”) helped Trump win an astonishing 81 percent of the evangelical vote, and in his first 100 days in office, he has delivered on his promises to those voters of faith.  Arguably the most important factor in winning their support was his iron-clad pledge to choose a Supreme Court nominee from the list of 21 names released in May of last year.

First and most critically, he won confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch was an outstanding nominee with an Ivy League and Oxford education, a clerkship at the Supreme Court, a senior role in the Justice Department, and a decade on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Intellectually, he is a strict constructionist steeped in natural law theory.  In ideological pedigree he is a conservative, his mother having served in the Reagan Cabinet.  In personality and temperament he is measured and humble, displaying an independent streak, his sharp mind leavened with good humor and respect for others.  His knowledge of the law was astonishing.  He performed ably in his hearings and won confirmation easily.  This was a major victory for the Trump White House, not only keeping a central campaign promise but doing so quickly and with relative ease, marking the first time a Supreme Court nominee has been confirmed in the first 100 days of a new administration since 1881.  Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats sweetened the victory with an ill-advised filibuster of Gorsuch, forcing the Republicans to change Senate rules, costing the far-Left its only real tool to block future Trump nominees to the High Court.

The Gorsuch pick was not an isolated decision. If personnel is policy, Trump deserves credit for assembling one of the most impressive teams in modern times.  His national security team of former General Jim Mattis at Defense, H.R. McMaster at the National Security Council, and Rex Tillerson at State is gold-plated.  He also won confirmation of men and women of faith and solid conservative credentials like Betsy DeVos at the Education Department, Dr. Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department, Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development, Rick Perry at Energy, Sonny Perdue at Agriculture and Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency.  His White House staff includes advisors of solid faith and stalwart conservative credentials like chief of staff Reince Preibus, senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell.

Policy decisions by President Trump have been equally conservative and pro-life.  In his first 72 hours in office Trump restored and strengthened the “Mexico City policy” that prevents U.S. tax dollars from being used to promote or perform abortions in overseas family planning programs.  He signed a Congressional Review Act into federal law that overturned an Obama directive forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood.  Because of President Trump’s leadership, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, states can end funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers under state Medicaid programs.

In foreign policy, Trump’s welcoming with open arms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House (a needed thaw after 8 years of chill in the U.S.-Israeli relationship under Obama), dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal on terrorists in Afghanistan, and launching Tomahawk missiles on the Syrian Air Force after it gassed innocent civilians (including children), sent a clear and powerful message that there is a new sheriff on the international stage.  The release of American prisoners by Egypt after a meeting between President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Trump shows he is already learning the importance of personal diplomacy.

While repealing and replacing Obamacare remains an unfinished task, it hasn’t been for lack of trying on Trump’s part.  He has personally lobbied members, invited wavering legislators to the White House for meals and bowling sessions, and called Senators and Congressman with blazing frequency, sometimes multiple times a day.  At this writing the House is inching closer to repealing Obamacare, and Trump deserves credit for gently but firmly moving the ball.

Finally, while little noted by the media, Trump’s proposed tax cut relieves the crushing tax burden on family-owned small businesses by slashing their tax rate to 15 percent.  If passed, this tax cut will strengthen the family, create millions of new jobs, and give Mom-and-Pop family businesses on Main Street the same tax treatment as multinational corporations. This is a long overdue reform.  The Trump tax cut also expands the standard deduction to $24,000, insuring that the basic needs of a middle-class family for housing, food, and other necessities are free from taxation.  The expansion of the child care tax credit helps working moms without empowering bureaucrats.

There is much work to do.  But after 100 days, evangelicals and others of faith are pleased by the early accomplishments of the Trump administration.  Little wonder, according to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll that over 70% of evangelicals approve of the job he is doing as president.  On personnel and policy Trump has delivered for social conservatives, and that is a blessing as well as a relief considering that the alternative was four to eight years of Hillary Clinton.

Voters of Faith Pleased With President Trump’s Accomplishments During First 100 Days

Evangelical & Pro-Life Catholic Voters Continue Strong Support of President Trump

Duluth, GA – Millions of voters of faith voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in November, and as the 100 day mark of his administration approaches, faith voters remain his most loyal supporters thanks to his administration’s delivering on his campaign promises with the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, his appointment of the most socially conservative Cabinet in our nations history, and a number of executive and legislative accomplishments that confirm his commitment to serve as a pro-life President.

“Faith based voters who ushered President Trump into office last November, who were confident in his commitment to the sanctity of human life, and to his pledge to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a Justice who would respect the Constitution, are extremely pleased with his record of accomplishment this early into his Presidency,” said Faith & Freedom Chairman Ralph Reed. “President Trump deserves enormous credit from the faith community for choosing an outstanding Justice to sit on the nations highest court, for choosing the most socially conservative Cabinet in history, and for standing up for the rights of the unborn.”

A number of public opinion polls released last week, including the ABC/Washington Post and NBC/Wall Street Journal polls, prove once again that the President’s strongest base of support remains evangelical (over 70%) and conservative (over 50%) Catholic voters, and these job approval numbers are a direct result of his tremendous record of accomplishment during the first 100 days.

President Trump has signed pro-life legislation and Executive Orders in his first few months in office, including legislation to overturn an Obama era U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directive that forced states to provide Title X funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, and through Executive Order, re-instituted President Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, requiring foreign organizations receiving federal grant money to certify that they neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.

“People of faith are very appreciative of the level of accomplishment of the first 100 days of the Trump administration,” said Faith & Freedom Executive Director Tim Head. “President Trump has produced an outstanding Supreme Court Justice, appointed a socially conservative Cabinet, and stopped the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to foreign abortion providers, and allowed states to deny grant funding to Planned Parenthood.”

The Trump administration also has a chance in the coming weeks and months to expand its number of social conservative victories, including opportunities to repeal the Johnson amendment, defund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare.

People of Faith Rejoice As “Justice” Neil Gorsuch Is Confirmed As Supreme Court Justice

Duluth, GA – Millions of voters of faith across the country cast their ballots last November for then-candidate Trump, largely based upon his pledge to nominate a Supreme Court Justice in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and today is a major victory for people of faith across the country as President Trump delivered with the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve as Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The U.S. Senate voted 54-45 for confirmation of Judge Gorsuch one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his colleagues thwarted the liberal Democrats attempt to usurp the will of the people through a partisan driven filibuster of the nomination of Judge Gorsuch by voting to end debate and allow his nomination to come to the floor for today’s historic vote.

“We are grateful and pleased that Justice Gorsuch will now sit on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Chairman Ralph Reed. “President Trump deserves enormous credit for choosing an outstanding nominee, and Republicans in the U.S. Senate are also to be commended for valiantly fighting for Justice Gorsuch’s nomination.” 

In the weeks leading up to the vote, Faith & Freedom Coalition launched a pro-Gorsuch campaign that included over one million emails, one million pieces of direct mail, over 500,000 postcards, and 500,000 phone calls into targeted states with sitting Democratic Senators that were won by President Trump last year, to rally evangelical and conservative Catholic voters to encourage these Senators to end the filibuster and to vote in favor of Judge Gorsuch.

“Confirmation of Justice Gorsuch was the number one legislative priority of Faith & Freedom Coalition and today we celebrate this major victory with people of faith across the nation,” said Executive Director Tim Head. “The Constitution and rule of law won this day and now one of the most eminently qualified nominees to the Supreme Court our nation has ever seen will serve on the highest court in the land.”

Faith & Freedom Coalition, in addition to the digital, email and phone campaign, also issued a “key vote” alert to millions of faith based voters across the country, and will include the vote to end debate as part of the 115th Congressional Scorecard. Fifty-two Republicans joined Democratic Senators Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly to vote yes on his nomination.

Faith & Freedom To Issue Key Vote On Gorsuch Confirmation – Millions of Voters of Faith Will Hold Senators Accountable

Duluth, GA – The Faith & Freedom Coalition will issue a key vote alert for millions of faith based voters across the country and include the vote in our Congressional Scorecard for the 115th Congress as the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court comes to a floor vote.

“During the campaign President Trump promised to nominate a conservative judge to replace Justice Scalia, and the largest number of voters of faith in U.S. electoral history voted overwhelmingly for President Trump based largely upon that promise,” said Executive Director Tim Head.

This week, Faith & Freedom Coalition launched phase two of its campaign to rally evangelical and conservative Catholic voters to encourage Senators Bill Nelson of Florida, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri to vote to confirm Judge Gorsuch as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Faith and Freedom’s campaign includes 500,000 pieces of mail, over one million emails, and thousands of activist calls into the Senate offices of sitting Democratic Senators in states that voted for President Donald Trump last November.

“The first wave of mail, emails and calls that hit several weeks ago in West Virginia and Florida to rally Christians in support of Judge Gorsuch was just a drop in the bucket compared to this second phase aimed at vulnerable Democratic Senators who are up for re-election in 2018,” said Head.

Based largely on then candidate Trump’s promise to nominate a conservative Supreme Court Justice, exit polls showed astonishing margins for Trump among evangelicals and conservative Catholics in key states such as Florida (85%), Ohio (77%), and Wisconsin (71%) and similar results in other battleground states.

Statement On Congressional Resolution To Deny Title X Funds To Planned Parenthood

Duluth, GA – Timothy Head, Executive Director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, released the following statement today on passage of H.J. Res. 43 today by the U.S Senate, overturning an Obama era U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directive that forced states to provide Title X funding to Planned Parenthood and other organizations performing abortions. The joint resolution, introduced by Senator Joni Ernst and Representative Diane Black, passed the U.S. House last month and now goes to President Trump.

“Thanks to Sen. Ernst, Rep. Black, and other pro-life members of the House and Senate, the federal government has taken the first step to stopping taxpayer subsidizing of the largest abortion provider and dealer of fetal body parts in the U.S. States are now free to redirect Title X taxpayer funds away from abortion providers, ending the federal governments overreach and support for Planned Parenthood.”