The first test of the GOP's new "American Values Agenda" got off to a shaky start yesterday, when Republicans failed to protect the words "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance in a House Judiciary Committee vote.
Even though Republicans have a six person advantage on the Committee, seven Republicans skipped the vote and fourteen Democrats opposed the challenge to the courts, resulting in a 15-15 tie.
The pledge challenge is one of ten items in the new legislative package unveiled by House Republicans two days ago, "aimed at energizing social conservatives five months before the midterm elections," CNN reported. Only 30 percent of Republicans are more excited about voting in November than in past elections, according to a new Pew poll. Bashing the New York Times, apparently, is not enough to get them to the polls. Here's the full agenda, for your reading pleasure:
Pledge Protection Act (HR 2389; Akin)Summary: Protects the Pledge of Allegiance from attacks by activist federal judges seeking to rule it unconstitutional.
Freedom to Display the American Flag Act (HR 42; Bartlett)Summary: Ensures an individual has the right to display the U.S. flag on residential property.
The Public Expression of Religion Act (HR 2679; Hostettler)Summary: Ensures local officials and communities do not face financial ruin to defend their rights to free speech under the Constitution (provides that when state or local officials are sued over public expressions of religion, no monetary damages, costs, or attorney's fees may be awarded).
Marriage Amendment (HJRes 88; Musgrave) Summary: Constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be between a man and a woman
Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (HR 356; C. Smith)Summary: Requires that those performing late-term abortions inform the woman seeking an abortion of the medical evidence that the unborn child feels pain, and ensure that if she chooses to continue with the abortion procedure, she has the option of choosing anesthesia for the child, so that the unborn child's pain is less severe.
Human Cloning Prohibition Act (HR 1357; D. Weldon)Summary: Bans human cloning and the importation of products derived from a cloned human embryo (e.g. stem cells).
BATFE Reform (HR 5092; Coble) Summary: Reforms the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE) to protect citizens' rights.
Internet Gambling Prohibition (Leach/Goodlatte):Summary: Addresses the issue of illegal internet gambling by making gambling laws apply equally to the internet.
Permanent Tax Relief for FamiliesSummary: Likely series of votes on the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, tax incentives for adoption, and other priorities for American citizens.
Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act (HR 5013; Jindal) Summary: Prohibits governments from using federal funds to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens during emergencies.