Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Subpoena The Survivors? 

Yesterday President Obama nominated Deborah Jones, a former ambassador to Kuwait, to be the new U.S. ambassador to Libya. The nomination comes six months after the deadly attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. 

But congressional Republicans are threatening to delay her confirmation if the administration continues stonewalling the investigation of the Benghazi attacks. In addition, several members of Congress are suggesting that they are prepared to take the unusual step of issuing subpoenas to the survivors of the Benghazi attacks. 

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has been informed that seven Americans "have been or are currently being treated" for injuries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Moreover, a second source told the congressman that as many as 30 Americans may have been injured in the attacks. But so far the administration has refused to allow members of Congress to speak with them. 

When asked recently by Fox News why the survivors were being kept under lock and key, Secretary of State Kerry responded, "Why have we not heard from any of the Benghazi survivors? I can't tell you the answer to that." But Kerry added, "I can tell you that I have visited with one of the survivors ... who is a remarkably courageous person, who is doing very, very well." 

Are the Benghazi survivors under house arrest? It is unacceptable for the administration to prevent members of Congress or their staff from interviewing them. Demand answers now. 

Conservatives Confront Obama & His Agenda 

President Obama met with House Republicans yesterday. As Politico put it, "House Republicans found out Wednesday that Barack Obama looks and sounds the same behind closed doors as he does on TV." According to National Review, several House conservatives confronted the president with very pointed questions and predictably he dug his heels in. 

For example, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) challenged the president on his energy policy, and asked if he would approve the Keystone pipeline. Obama reportedly rattled off a bunch of left-wing talking points against the pipeline and said that he would make a decision soon. 

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) asked Mr. Obama where the White House's budget plan was. The White House is legally required to submit a budget to Congress by the first Monday in February. Obama hasroutinely ignored that requirement. 

But on the substance of the budget, Obama told House Republicans he didn't believe that the short-term debt was "that bad." He added that his budget, whenever it shows up, would reflect his campaign promises. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of Capitol Hill, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) forced the Senate to vote on an amendment defunding Obamacare. Senator Cruz is among a handful of "young Turks" who are determined to shake things up in the Senate. 

Some argued that Cruz's amendment was pointless, and it failed on a party-line vote. But I don't believe it was useless exercise. Every day we are learning more and more about Obamacare's negative side effects. And yesterday Senator Cruz forced every one of his colleagues to go on the record for or against this big government healthcare nightmare. 

Pope Francis 

Congratulations to our Catholic friends on the election of Pope Francis. As we learn more about the new pope, I am encouraged that he will continue to speak out forcefully in defense of the sanctity of life, God's ordained institution of marriage and the right to worship in freedom. Pope Francis has been unambiguous on these critical issues as he has been forced to confront a hostile anti-religious government in Argentina. 

In a time when radical secularism is advancing on all fronts, when many are silent and pastors of large evangelical churches are all too often AWOL, it is encouraging to see the new Pope with clear views on the sanctity of life and God's institution of marriage. 

He has also earned respect from Jewish leaders for his outreach and friendship with Argentina's Jewish community. The Anti-Defamation League released a statement yesterday praising him for his "important strides in maintaining positive Catholic-Jewish relations."

Fluent in several languages, with degrees in chemistry, philosophy and theology, Francis has a heart for evangelism. Last year he instructed his priests, "Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit." As a conservative Evangelical that sure sounds like the "Great Commission" to me!

Yesterday, the White House announced that Vice President Joe Biden, a supporter of abortion and same-sex marriage, would be going to Rome to attend the new pope's Inaugural Mass. I pray Biden will be inspired to take the tenets of his Catholic faith more seriously. I still believe in miracles!