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U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) (L-R), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) hold a news conference after bipartisan passage of stopgap budget and debt legislation at the U.S. Capitol in W

Senate and House Democrats are readying legislation to counteract the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision that allows private corporations to deny birth control coverage to their employees. There are several bills in the works, all to be introduced before the August recess, and all expected to play a big part in the fall campaign.
At least three bills are being crafted in the House and Senate to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which the high court used as the basis for its ruling that the contraception mandate violated federal law. […]

“Last week’s decision reignited a conversation across the country reminding women once again that their access to healthcare has become a political issue, when it should be a basic right,” said Marcy Stech, national press secretary for EMILY’s List. […]

“This will be a huge motivator for women in the fall and a liability for Republican candidates up and down the map,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) spokesman Justin Barasky added. […]

“The polling shows that when we fight back, women believe in what we’re saying,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said.

“The Dems are a one-trick pony, and waging a false war on women is the only way they believe they can win. If you don’t fight back, why wouldn’t the voters believe them? Those days are over, and we’ve been very open and aggressive with our messaging and tactics,” Kukowski said.

That's pretty tough talk from the Republican operative, and must have been hard for her to say with her head buried so deep in the sand. It might be just "one trick" for Democrats, but it's a helluva trick to have, particularly since it's on the side of the voting public.

The legislation includes "a broad bill to protect employees’ access to birth control coverage" from Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA), and a measure from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to require employers to disclose whether they cover birth control. In the House, bills from Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) would each amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law that underpins the Supreme Court decision, to clarify what exactly that law covers.

The legislation isn't going to advance, in either chamber. Senate Republicans will block it on the floor, House Republicans won't even let it get there. That's the key to the political success of the law and the key to motivating women to get to the polls in November.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (50+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:16:32 AM PDT

  •  Let's hope that this doesn't (11+ / 0-)

    slip off the screen by November.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:31:44 AM PDT

  •  We need to make a ruckus (18+ / 0-)

    that is heard in every polling place across America.  

    Dems need to keep this legislation up for a vote, day after day, just the same as the Repubs tilted away at Obamacare.  Keep it center stage so everyone can see what a sorry show Hobby Lobby is performing in our bedrooms.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:36:59 AM PDT

  •  The Dems are a one-trick pony? (16+ / 0-)

    I don't think so. This issue may be our ace of trumps, but there are so many issues where Republicans are on the wrong side of public opinion (e.g., Obamacare) that Democrats just need to play the politics of contrast.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:38:07 AM PDT

  •  That at least addresses the real issue. (11+ / 0-)

    The problem is with the RFRA and the lack of limitations on its scope, not with who is going to fill out which form.

    •  RFRA has limitations on its scope (0+ / 0-)

      It does not apply to the states.  Government can overcome an objection by demonstrating that measures satisfy compelling interest in a narrowly tailored, least intrusive fashion.  But more to the point, a presumption against the law forces the courts to scrutinize merits of the measure rather than that of the religious claim.  This is not nearly as fatal to the case for government as people might think.

      Personally, I'm somewhat perturbed by the prospect of championing Scalia's vision outlined in Employment Division v. Smith while denouncing an act of Congress that was passed with overwhelming liberal support.

      •  "overwhelming liberal support" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC, snwflk

        who cares how many liberals supported a bad law in the past?  I'd rather belong to a party that can admit mistakes and correct them.  
        Similarly, I wouldn't defend "don't ask don't tell" or DOMA just because liberals or Dems supported them when they passed.  

        •  Didn't say Democrats (0+ / 0-)

          Said "liberals."  And RFRA isn't bad law.  It prevents a far more offensive injustice, the use of general applicability to deny religious minorities--theist or otherwise--the same rights and privileges as their more mainstream peers.

  •  We need to be clear on this issues. The main (15+ / 0-)

    problem is that corporations are NOT people so the actual people who own it are protected from financial and criminal acts of the corporation. That is the point of a corporation, to protect the People behind it.

    So, corporations CANNOT be people as that is the opposite of the whole point of incorporating. You give up being a person to get the protections of incorporating.

    And two, equality in health care. We women spend from age 13-50 dealing with the repro system, so this IS our basic healthcare need and unless men want 12 children to support or no sex, they should also see the need for the basic health care.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:39:59 AM PDT

  •  I do hope that if we get majorities in both (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, shoeless, Pi Li, LemmyCaution

    houses, they intend to carry this through, unlike EFCA and other political theater bills that they toss out for effect and then do nothing about when they have the chance.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:48:35 AM PDT

  •  Gee, you mean trying pass legislation has value? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The legislation isn't going to advance, in either chamber. Senate Republicans will block it on the floor, House Republicans won't even let it get there. That's the key to the political success of the law and the key to motivating women to get to the polls in November.
    Based on past experience i expect many here will  object to this.  Lots of pushback in the past when some, including myself, have argued that Obama should have pushed for legislation/policies that didn't have a chance to pass because it had political benefits and also educated voters about the abominations being wrought by Republicans.  I guess it's ok for the Senate to do it, but not for Obama to do it ... or something.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:55:57 AM PDT

  •  Dems are a one trick pony? (7+ / 0-)
    The Dems are a one-trick pony, and waging a false war on women is the only way they believe they can win.
    If not for the fact that Hispanics, gays, blacks, workers and lots of others also felt that the republicans have nothing but contempt for them.....

    The republicans started using the culture war for partisan politics.  We're just winning it.

    Retrospectives on 25th anniversary of Tiananmen at

    by Inland on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:58:02 AM PDT

  •  Corporate owners should be given a simple choic... (4+ / 0-)

    Corporate owners should be given a simple choice, limit your liability or corporate personhood not both.

  •  Keep telling yourself that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    women are on your side Kirsten Kukowski. I find it hilariously disingenuous to pretend that women don't worry their pretty little heads about these issues and the Republicans scoffing at the "war on women" have more than their heads in the sand. The rah-rahing of the Hobby Lobby decision is going to bite them in the ass - Kukowski is either lying or completely oblivious to the rest of female population.

  •  Not a good photo, Ds look tired and beaten. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, Officer Rex Bishop

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:05:19 AM PDT

    •  Dems will lose elections until (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      they run candidates who look like America, and are preferably younger than 50.

      "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

      by greendem on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:23:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Age need not be important ... (0+ / 0-)
        An aged man is but a paltry thing,
        A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
        Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
        For every tatter in its mortal dress
        We just need a bit more singing.

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:27:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Days of Republicans Not Messaging to Voters (0+ / 0-)

    are now over?

    Dog help us.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:07:53 AM PDT

  •  Unpassed legislation is forgotten in a few days (0+ / 0-)

    The Repubs have tried this as well.. this never gets any traction.

    And.. it will just as likely backfire on Dems who will be accused of weakening religious freedoms.

    Dumb idea, Harry.. just take a vacation.

  •  If All the Proposed Bill (3+ / 0-)

    Covers is the right to access birth control within the confines of the RFRA, then the Democrats aren't reading Hobby Lobby's potential reach correctly and are as usual crafting legislation that is hasty and poorly thought out.  I understand the need for political messaging, but in this case the dangers of Hobby Lobby goes far beyond access to contraception, and it is very easy to do even more damage in the name of taking advantage of the opportunity that public reaction to that horrible decision has brought the Democratic Party.  (Indeed it was in the haste to undo the horrible decision upholding the right to fire Native employees who had used peyote in their religious rituals that got us the overbroad reach of the RFRA to begin with.)

    This time, they need to get it right.  Even if it takes longer than most of us would like.  Enough legislating without thought -- it's no better when we do it than when the Republicans do it.

    At this point, I just want America to admit that it still doesn't want its Black citizens to live in any state other than terror, subservience and inferiority, under pain of death. I can handle American racism, but I can't handle American denial.

    by shanikka on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:16:25 AM PDT

    •  Dems need to end corporate personhood (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No legal invention should be allowed to claim "religious" beliefs or support candidates. Only humans should have this power.

      The American people would groundswell in populist support of such a bill. Even folks on the right would support it.

      They may consider that too "radical" but radical means getting at the root of the problem.

      "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

      by greendem on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:21:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Spot on. All that's needed is a single line of ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msdrown, shanikka, JanL, snwflk

      Spot on. All that's needed is a single line of text added to the RFRA that states something like "The term 'person' as used herein does not include commercial business entities or enterprises."

  •  Whither Baghdad Bob? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anshmishra, Bob Friend, tb mare
    The Dems are a one-trick pony, and waging a false war on women is the only way they believe they can win....
    Bob's alive and well and working for the GOP.
  •  Again With The Euphemisms (0+ / 0-)
    That's pretty tough talk from the Republican operative, and must have been hard for her to say with her head buried so deep in the sand.
    That ain't sand, unless she's been on a really high-fiber diet.

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:23:58 AM PDT

  •  If GOP House were smart (0+ / 0-)

    they'd propose legislation to extend the HHS exemption to any and all comers, thereby delinking coverage from employers entirely.  They'd put the most media friendly women there are in their ranks and dare the Senate deny women access to free contraceptive care through TPAs.

    Of course, their base would likely interpret any such vote as a vote for child murder and (worse yet) ACA, so there's little danger of this scenario playing out.

  •  Good. Christians flout the Founding Fathers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When they wrote the Constitution, they said, "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for office". They wanted to make sure no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had. I got this from the website, I see Christians trying their damnedest to make this a Christian Nation and I want it to stop. Can you please imagine for a moment what this country would look like if everyone took the Bible literally? They will not even admit that separation of church and state is an important feature of the origin of this country. Seriously. Get out the Democrat vote, Democratic National Committee, or you will not get one more penny from me.
    Look at any website you want to look at which has a map of religious voters by state. 75% of Evangelicals vote Republican. That's getting close enough to a theocracy to screw this place up enough so that 1/2 the country cannot have a rational conversation with the other half. That is not what old Jesus had in mind, as I understand him.

    •  The only group that still has (0+ / 0-)

      A majority of voters who would automatically reject a candidate from that group is Atheists. And 49% of Americans would be highly opposed to their child marrying an Atheist. No other group--even Muslims, in spite of all the propaganda, even registers in the 20's, according to a recent study (reference lost, I'm afraid).

  •  I'm hoping for a Yamamoto Effect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merelyfearless7, Penny GC

    To paraphrase the Admiral:

    I fear we have wakened a slumbering giant and filled him... I mean her, with a terrible resolve.
    Add to that the slumbering giants of immigration, and voter suppression that they have awakened, and 2014 may be a bad year for the GOP.

    The long memory is the most radical idea in this country." Utah Phillips 1935 - 2008

    by Grey Fedora on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:37:32 AM PDT

  •  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msdrown, snwflk

    already addresses this.  The employees' religious rights (or even lack of religion) is violated by the employer.

    Freedom of religion = Freedom from religion

  •  There's another side (0+ / 0-)

    The gain in women voting for Democrats from this effort may be offset by the gain in evangelicals voting against them -- for their war on religion.

  •  “The polling shows that when we fight back, (0+ / 0-)

    women believe in what we’re saying,”...

    No shit, Sherlock.  Maybe you ought to fight back a bit more perhaps:  Not just for the female vote, but for the votes of the commons?

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:21:51 AM PDT

  •  Let me put this in perspective (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and adult daughters grew up in a world where access to  birth control was a given.  They are educated, 2 bachelors and 2 masters among them.
    I, the old white man, have been the one alerting them to the Hobby Lobby decision and its impact on women.
    You don't see alarm on the main stream media, most women are oblivious to this threat. And Christian and Conservative women are ecstatic about it.
    Yeah, we can win on this issue, but you have to get tough and dirty and shove it in their face, and most of all educate all women about the impact.
    And frankly the Democratic party of late has not been good about this.
    I remember when we got hundreds of thousands to protest the Vietnam War and ended it.  Now we blog blog blog and binge watch House of Cards.

    I was a liberal when liberal was cool, I was a liberal when liberal wasn't cool, but I always was and always will be a liberal.

    by LemmyCaution on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:07:09 PM PDT

  •  First Amendment (0+ / 0-)

    Oh yay lets just kill First Amendment rights.  Way to go Harry.

  •  Why should they have to provide abortion pills.... (0+ / 0-)

    Why should they have to provide abortion pills. They already provide contraceptives . I don't want big brother in between me and my health care provider...I feel I am empowered to make my own decisions. Not everyone should have to bow at the alter of big brother. Some have chosen to worship elsewhere. Why force the big brother creed upon everyone?

    •  First Amendment Rights (0+ / 0-)

      Hear, hear

    •  You are of course unaware (0+ / 0-)

      (I could leave it right there, and it would be sufficient, but...)

      The Supreme Court has declined to grant appeal hearings already in several cases in which lower courts, basing themselves on Hobby Lobby, gave for-profit employers the right to cut access to all contraceptives from their insurance plans.

      You want big brother Boss in charge of other people's sex lives. You don't want big brother Government telling big brother Boss to leave other people's sex lives alone. That's your definition of Freedom - whatever the person who happens to be a corporation wants, goes. Whatever the flesh and blood person wants takes a back seat.

      Well, at least you see eye to eye with Fat Tony and the Five Echoes.

      The real USA Patriot Act was written in 1789. It's called the Bill of Rights.

      by nicteis on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:20:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Top Dogs are cynically exploiting the horror (0+ / 0-)

    of WoW, denying women personhood and freedom to distract from economic Neo-liberal policies.  Rolling back reproductive rights/control in the meantime, they free themselves to privatize and enrich themselves with predatory wealth stripping of what is left of the middle class.
    Women and men who love them, need to come at this personally.  Talk to our children of reproductive control before they become sexually active.  ASK you child what the plan is if they come up pregnant.  Use your influence before the fact as a parent to teach that there is no shame in controlling your reproduction by any means throughout their lives.  Give support for BC and abortion.  Advocate children being born only into preparedness.
    Corner your son and ASK his opinion on issues important to women's well being.  CORRECT your children's opinions with logical fact based arguments and compassion.

  •  Woman's health (0+ / 0-)

    Why is women's access to proper health care, deemed a proper political football; while men's access to "boner" (Boehner?) pills is simply a health issue between a man and his doctor.  If women can't use birth control because it offends some fictitious entity's non-existent religious convictions; shouldn't men's access to Viagra et al be similarly restricted because older men who father children are more likely to have children with developmental problems?  Caring for these children is very expensive, ergo society has a vested interest in decreasing the number of them born; thereby, reducing deficits and government handouts to these takers, who engage in sex and then expect the taxpayers to care for their developmentally disabled children.  If women can't prevent their conception or abort these babies, then the responsibility for preventing their conception must rest with men- so eliminating artificial aids to encourage erections is a social necessity.  Think of the money the GOP will save the tax payers, if not necessarily their base, if they support this sensible policy!

  •  When... (0+ / 0-)

    Are the conservative, Bible-thumping holy-rollers of the Christian Right going to realize that freedom OF religion also includes freedom FROM religion?

    "What has been the effect of religious coercion? To make one-half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites." [Thomas Jefferson]

    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Thomas Jefferson]

    "Every constitution, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years [a generation]. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right." [Thomas Jefferson]

    BUT... Enough pontificating about Thomas Jefferson's quotes regarding the U.S. Constitution. The Democrats are determined to pass legislation that counteracts the Supreme Court's recent decision in favor of Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs, allowing private corporations to deny birth control coverage to their employees. DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said, “This will be a huge motivator for women in the fall and a liability for Republican candidates up and down the map.” That opinion is all well and good, but women must actually GET OUT AND VOTE in order to be a decisive force in the upcoming midterm elections. I'm not sure if even the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling (I always think of "Slobby The Knobby!") will be an adequate impetus for women to go to the polls in November. Let's just hope they prove me wrong! [fingers crossed]


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