U.S. House Focuses on Values Agenda
By Tom Cole
I know that sometimes it seems that the issues being debated in the U.S. House and Senate do not relate directly to your every day lives. Although these issues are important to the overall direction of our country, I also want to focus on legislation and issues that will have a positive impact on your family. Recently House Republican leaders unveiled the American Values Agenda, a list of freedom-based legislative initiatives expected to move through the House in the coming weeks and months. I would like to take a few minutes to tell you about these bills and how they will affect you and your family. In the U.S. House, we will be working to pass the following pieces of legislation as part of the American Values Agenda:
* Pledge Protection Act to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from attacks by activist federal judges seeking to rule it unconstitutional.
* The Public Expression of Religion Act provides that when state or local officials are sued over public expressions of religion, no monetary damages, costs, or attorney's fees may be awarded.
* The Marriage Amendment to amend the Constitution to declare marriage to be between a man and a woman.
* Human Cloning Prohibition Act which bans human cloning.
* Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act prohibits governments from using federal funds to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens during emergencies.
Another piece of legislation that I co-sponsored will help keep children safe at school. The School Safety Acquiring Faculty Excellence Act (H.R. 4894), that passed in the House recently, will provide every state with access to national criminal data bases to obtain criminal information when hiring teachers. This legislation makes efforts to keep our children safe while they are at school. There are plenty of things parents have to worry about when raising children--their safety at school should not be on that list. The bill directs the Attorney General, at the request of certain state education officials, to conduct fingerprint-based checks of public or private school employees, job applicants or volunteers for positions involving work with or around children.
The House has also already passed legislation to ensure an individual has the right to display the U.S. flag on residential property and legislation to help restore broadcast decency laws. We will also be working on legislation to extend the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, tax incentives for adoption and other priorities for American citizens. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about any legislation being debated in Congress.