Friday, August 04, 2006

Child Custody Protection Act on the Ropes

Please take action at the bottom of this article and contact Hawaii's Senator's Inouye & Akaka immediately and demand they allow this bill to move on so that it can be sent to the President and he can sign it into law...

August 3, 2006
Child Custody Protection Act on the Ropes
by Pete Winn, associate editor of
A bill to preserve parental rights in minor abortions has been short-circuited. Will it be for good?

The Child Custody Protection Act may not be dead, but it's comatose and won’t be voted on before the Senate recesses, likely on Friday.

"We’re not going to be able to get sufficient pressure put on the Democrats, but we need to get this on through this fall," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., one of the bill's sponsors.

The Senate approved the bill July 25 on a 65-34 vote, which saw 14 Democrats (including Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii) cross the aisle in support. It would make it a federal crime to transport a minor girl across state lines for an abortion, if doing so would circumvent the law in her home state requiring parental notification or consent.

Immediately after passage, however, the Democratic caucus — led by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.(including Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii) — blocked the appointment of Democratic members to the necessary conference committee which will be charged with reaching a compromise on differences between the House and Senate bills.

For the second week in a row, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., tried this morning to gain unanimous consent for the bill to go to conference committee — and was again rebuffed by Democrats.

Amanda Banks, federal issues analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Frist even agreed to offer support for an amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., if Democrats would release the bill. The amendment, which would extend an exemption to grandparents, had been insisted on by Democrats but was defeated when the full bill passed the Senate.

"No deal," was the response Frist received.

"You can see how very political this issue has become for the Democrats," Banks said, "when the Republicans are doing one thing after another to meet their requests — and the Democrats object and obstruct the process to get the bill to the president."

Brownback said with no consensus going into the August break, the bill may not get the attention it deserves when lawmakers get back to Washington, D.C., in September. That, he said, is "fundamentally wrong."

"I call on the Democrat leadership to allow conferees to be appointed," Brownback said. "The Senate has voted on this. The House has voted on this. It's an important piece of legislation that guarantees parental rights and has the support of 75 percent of the public. It needs to go to conference, have the issues worked out, (be) presented back to each of the houses and go to the president so that we can move."

Doug Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, remains hopeful — saying it is too early to give up on the legislation.

"The bill still has a real chance to become law," he told CitizenLink, "but it depends on public awareness and senators hearing from their constituents during August."

Both Johnson and Banks say it is imperative that all Democratic senators hear from their constituents about this bill.

Since both Senators in Hawaii are Democrats we must send the message to them that you do not appreciate the Democratic Caucus' decision to obstruct S. 403, the Child Custody Protection Act.

You may contact your lawmakers through the CitizenLink Action Center.
click on this link.

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