Here is a quick update with the latest in what is happening in Washington. As always, please let me know whenever I can be of assistance. Keep in touch and remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Also, for updated information check out my virtual office and encourage your friends and family to sign-up for my montly e-newsletter, the Aderholt Address.
Robert B. Aderholt
Member of Congress
Triumph in Times of Tragedy
The events of last week, both the horrific bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and the explosion at West Fertilizer in West, Texas still weigh heavy on all of our hearts and minds. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, their families the brave first responders, law enforcement, medical personnel and both the entire Boston and West communities.
While words cannot adequately express my sorrow for the innocent victims of these tragedies, I want to take a moment to reflect of the strength our great nation. In the days following the bombing, the city of Boston and the entire country rallied together to help law enforcement identify and apprehend those suspected of being responsible for this senseless act of violence. In the days following the explosion in West, the outpouring of support across the country also came through donations of time, talent and treasure.
Though there is a long road ahead I know that the victims of these tragedies and their communities, with the full support of all Americans, will begin to heal these painful wounds, rebuild and in the case of the Boston bombing, justice will prevail.
Working Families Flexibility Act
As a parent, I understand first-hand the difficulty Alabama families face in balancing work and family life. I know busy moms and dads across the 4th District that find themselves having to make tough decisions between these two responsibilities.
That's why my Alabama colleague and mother of two small children, Martha Roby, introduced H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that would allow private-sector employers the ability to offer their employees the choice of paid time off in lieu of cash wages for overtime hours.
There is no reason why Washington should get in the way of an agreement with which both workers and employers are happy. I am looking forward to the bill's final passage so busy working moms and dads can be at more family dinners, more dance recitals and more ball games.
The Manchin-Toomey Amendment
Earlier this month, the Senate voted down an amendment to the Democrat sponsored gun bill known as the Manchin-Toomey amendment. The amendment would have expanded the use of background checks far beyond commercial sales and would have included almost all private transfers.
While background checks are important, the Manchin-Toomey amendment is not the way to do it. Criminalizing the exchange of firearms between honest, law-abiding citizens is not something I support. Americans should not have to ask the federal government for permission to exercise a fundamental right.
In anticipation of potential gun legislation being brought up in the House, I believe reaffirming my support of the 2nd Amendment is important. From my perspective, any legislation that chips away at our Constitutional right to bear arms will be met with my strong opposition.
Media Bias--The Gosnell Trial
Pennsylvania abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, is being tried for five counts of murder, including four counts for the deaths of newborn babies who survived their abortions, but were killed when Gosnell or his staff snipped their spines. The trial gives revealing and deeply disturbing insights into the abortion industry and specifically highlights the reality that abortion involves taking a human life, but chances are, you have not seen much about the Gosnell trial on television or in the newspaper.
That is because Mr. Gosnell's trial has garnered precious little media coverage by all of the major broadcast networks.
I am a staunch supporter of the right to life. That said, even if there are those who may disagree with me on that issue, the lack of coverage of this horrific murder trial by our nation's media is appalling. A column by Kirsten Powers said it best "The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace." This lack of coverage led 72 Members of the House to come together to send letters to all of the major broadcast news networks about their blatant media bias on covering pro-life controversies.
Since Kirsten Powers' column and the House's action with the networks, a few more stories have been published or produced, but it should not take Congressional action for the media to cover stories that should without a doubt make the front page or open the nightly news.