Morning Action: After Harrowing Testimonies Gosnell is Convicted

GOSNELL.  Our nation breathed a sigh of relief knowing that justice has been served for the infants and women who were murdered by abortionist Kermit Gosnell.  But our work in protecting life is not complete.  The abortion industry still receives taxpayer funding:

Late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted yesterday of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants who were born alive after botched abortions performed in his run-down West Philadelphia clinic. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old woman who died from an overdose of anesthetic drugs during an abortion procedure.

The jury’s deliberations came after six weeks of harrowing testimony detailing the brutal deaths of newborns and unthinkable mistreatment of women. The gruesome murder of moving, breathing infants after botched abortions allegedly became a regular occurrence at the filthy West Philadelphia facility, with one clinic worker estimating nearly 100 living babies were killed shortly after birth.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose abortions in the second trimester, and 80 percent oppose third-trimester abortions.  Policy work to prevent atrocities like the Gosnell murders began last week when the “House Energy and Commerce began investigations into current state efforts to monitor clinics and protect the rights of born-alive infants and their mothers.”

Yet much more needs to be done, especially as current policy entangles taxpayer dollars in the abortion industry.

In light of the brutality that became commonplace at 3801 Lancaster Avenue and has appeared elsewhere, policymakers should rethink continued financial support for an industry that creates and supports the likes of Gosnell.

Americans must likewise reexamine the prevailing ethic of abortion-on-demand for any reason—even in late-term abortions.

FARM BILL.  Proponents of the farm bill feel “optimistic” about it (sub. req’d), but consumers and taxpayers have every reason to oppose this trillion-dollar farm and food stamp bill:

Stabenow managed to get her bill last year through the full Senate, and is expected to be able to do so again this time. The question is whether her counterpart in the House, Frank D. Lucas, R-Okla., can convince GOP leaders to allow a floor vote on his measure this year — something that never happened in 2012.

Lucas told a farm audience in his district late last week that House leaders have promised to have his committee’s bill on the floor next month. If that happens, the Senate and House bills should be ready for conference by the July 4 recess, giving Lucas and Stabenow three months to negotiate the final bill.

The two committees have narrowed the differences between the bills in some important ways. The Senate bill adopted a target price program, although with lower price levels than the House bill has and that southern rice and peanut growers want. The House bill, meanwhile, dropped a reference price for cotton from its version of a new insurance program that will serve as cotton farmers’ primary government support program going forward.

This bill is riddled with flaws, and the notion that farmers who are experiencing record profits need taxpayer funded subsidies is absurd, as Drew White has explained:

The bills look remarkably similar to last year’s legislation: chock full of special interest handouts, market-distorting subsidies, taxpayer-funded shallow loss crop insurance, and of course hundreds of billions of dollars in food stamps. Whether it’s the consumer-crushing sugar program or a dairy program with a Soviet-style flare, the farm bill is an American taxpayer’s worst nightmare.

As Heritage’s Diane Katz repeatedly pointed out last year, finding savings and making reforms in America’s agriculture policy should be low-hanging fruit for lawmakers. The farm subsidies being financed by taxpayers are Depression-era relics that can no longer be justified. This is especially true considering net farm income has hit record highs for the past couple of years. Furthermore, this was in spite of the severe drought that swept across the heartland last year—a drought largely recognized as one of the worst ones in a century.

WATER BILL.  Some Democrats in the Senate want to freeze flood insurance premiums for five years, but opponents of doing so argue that having lower premiums could force FEMA to ask for another increase in its borrowing authority.  That in turn would harm taxpayers (sub. req’d):

An amendment to water resources legislation that would freeze flood insurance premiums for five years could force the Federal Emergency Management Agency to come back to Congress for permission to increase borrowing, a taxpayers group said Monday.

Louisiana Democrat Mary L. Landrieu plans to offer her amendment that would suspend the premium increases to the bill pending before the Senate that would authorize federal flood control, navigation and environmental restoration programs.

But without the higher premiums, FEMA could be forced to seek another increase in its borrowing authority to pay future claims, ultimately putting taxpayers at risk, Ellis said.

National Flood Insurance Program officials said last month that more than 140,000 claims have been filed for damage done by Sandy and that the program has doled out more than $7 billion to pay those. Still processing and paying many of the claims from Sandy, the program had borrowed $24 billion from Treasury, as of the latest count. That leaves the fund with $6.4 billion more to borrow before Congress would need to consider stepping in again to raise the program’s debt limit.

OBAMACARE.  The left certainly isn’t pleased with the conservative strategy to prevent Obamacare from wreaking havoc on our nation.  Conservatives want full repeal of Obamacare, but we also want to prevent further implementation of Obamacare provisions.  And the left is very fearful that this conservative strategy is working (sub. req’d):

Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action for America, said his group supports voting on full repeal but also wants Republicans to focus on bills that would damage the law’s implementation.

“We’re sort of weary of anything that takes the focus away from halting the implementation,” he said.

“You cannot allow the Medicaid expansion to go forward. You cannot allow the exchanges to go forward, because people get brought into the system and they expect a certain benefit from the government,” he added. “And once that happens, it is very hard to take it away.”

Republicans should concentrate, Holler said, on legislation that strikes at the heart of the law rather than bills that would strike individual, unpopular provisions but allow the main part of the law to go forward.

“It’s one thing to go after IPAB, which is obviously a very popular target for good reason, but that doesn’t necessarily stop Obamacare from going into law,” he said, referring to the law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is tasked with constraining Medicare spending growth.

Andy Roth, vice president for government affairs at Club for Growth, agreed, saying he expects “something big” on the law to happen now that some Democrats are raising concerns about its implementation.

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