House Republicans Push to Slash IRS Budget by 24%, Cite Abuses and Sequestration - Fox - House Republicans want the IRS to pay for targeting political groups and are pushing legislation that would cut the tax collecting agency’s budget by $3 billion -- nearly a quarter of what it received last fiscal year. The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to start “marking up” the spending bill Wednesday. While it’s unlikely that such a severe cut will pass both congressional chambers, it does give lawmakers another opportunity to verbally punish the agency for unfairly scrutinizing conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. The bill would place additional restrictions on spending at the IRS and prohibit employees from implementing the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act – commonly referred to as ObamaCare. It also bans conferences, the production of videos and curbs what lawmakers see as a number of abuses at the IRS. Read more.........
(2) Immigration Reform Opponents Privately Huddle on Strategy - Washington Examiner - For three months, the staunchest opponents of immigration reform have assembled each week in Rep. Steve King's office to privately gripe about Republican leadership and strategize about how to sink efforts to pass a comprehensive reform bill.
"We don't like [House Speaker John] Boehner, we don't like leadership, and we're worried that immigration reform is inevitable," a meeting participant told the Washington Examiner. "We believe we're paddling upstream against a bipartisan current."
In the most recent meeting, held Monday, King complained that he couldn't get Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to return his emails about Wednesday's special conference meeting on immigration; Rep. Michele Bachmann exhorted her colleagues to do as many television and radio appearances as possible; and Rep. Louie Gohmert previewed a bill he planned to introduce that would require four southwestern states to verify that the border was secure before Congress could move ahead on other reform. Read more........
(3) Hundreds Call to Adopt Down Syndrome Baby, Save It From Abortion, Washington Times - When the Rev. Thomas Vander Woude learned about a young couple planning to abort their unborn baby that had been diagnosed with Down syndrome, the priest reached out and offered a deal: Deliver the child and he would help find an appropriate adoptive family.
But he had to act fast.
The woman, who has not been identified for her privacy and her protection, was just shy of six months pregnant and lives in a state that prohibits abortions past 24 weeks — which meant he had a short time to find a family willing to make a lifelong commitment.
So Father Vander Woude, the lead pastor at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Va., approached a volunteer who helped manage the church’s social media pages, and she posted an urgent plea on Facebook early Monday morning......“When we got in and opened up around 9:30, it was nearly nonstop. All day long, we were receiving phone calls from people who wanted to adopt the baby,” church staff member Martha Drennan said. “Father Vander Woude has gotten over 900 emails in regard to the baby.”
The offers were narrowed to three families, which the unborn child’s parents are reviewing with the help of an adoption agency. Read more.........
Virginia's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Targeted by ACLU - Washington Times - The ACLU of Virginia on Tuesday announced it will file a federal lawsuit challenging a Virginia constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.
Claire Gastanaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, said a team of lawyers will be arguing that the laws violate the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection.
“There is no rational reason for denying these loving couples the freedom to marry and every reason to grant them the same recognition by civil authorities that opposite-sex couples have,” Ms. Gastanaga said. “Thousands of Virginia couples are already living the deep commitment associated with marriage, without legal recognition of their relationships. They and their children deserve the legal protections that come with state-recognized marriage.”
Virginia voters in 2006 approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Virginia also does not recognize gay marriages performed in other states. Read more.........
Gorsuch Nomination Headed for ‘Nuclear Option’
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