The 114th Congress begins its second session this year. While we celebrated some advances over the course of the last year, many important bills still await congressional consideration, including several that have made their way through the House but await Senate action. The Senate situation is complicated because of the cloture rule, which requires 60 senators to agree to hold a vote on a bill. We appreciate the commitment to democratic values this represents, but it is holding up many good bills. Any bills not passed this session must start the entire process in both chambers all over again. We will endeavor to prevent such a scenario from happening. Of course, even bills that pass both chambers must also be signed into law by the president. The difficulty this poses was well-illustrated when the president vetoed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood in January.
Clearly, many pieces must come together to bring a new law into existence. The process is arduous and time-consuming, but millions of people are affected by the policies and laws our country enacts. So we will remain vigilant. The following is a partial listing of the various legislative and policy initiatives we will engage this year as part of our stewardship of God’s design for government. Some of these initiatives are carry-overs from the previous session of Congress, while others are new developments. Though not exhaustive, this agenda provides insight into the range of issues the ERLC will attempt to address this year.