JONES STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT HEARING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CHALLENGE TO OBAMACARE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments today in the case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The case challenges the mandate in the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, that requires businesses to provide health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs and devices – even if those medications and devices violate the business owner’s religious beliefs.    

“Forcing an individual to provide employees with health coverage that violates their religious convictions is clearly unlawful under the First Amendment,” said Congressman Jones.  “It is my hope that the Supreme Court will recognize that Obamacare violates not only current law passed by Congress but also one of our nation’s founding principles – the right to religious freedom.”

In January, Congressman Jones joined a bipartisan coalition of 71 House members and 15 senators in filing an amicus curiae brief in the case, arguing that Congress has a long history of defending against attacks on religious freedom, with the most notable example being the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).  Hobby Lobby and its owners should be protected from Obamacare’s infringing on their First Amendment rights by the RFRA, which states that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”

Congressman Jones voted against Obamacare each time it was considered in the House, and he has cosponsored every bill aimed at repealing all or part of the law.

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JONES VOTES AGAINST U.S. AID TO UKRAINE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) voted against a House resolution that called on the United States to provide foreign aid to Ukraine – despite the fact that the U.S. national debt has reached over $17 trillion.  Among other things, H. Res. 499 “states that the United States should…provide the Ukrainian government with financial, economic, and technical assistance.”

“It is incredibly irresponsible for Congress to propose borrowing even more money from China and Russia in order to give that borrowed money to Ukraine in the form of foreign aid,” said Congressman Jones.  “The American taxpayers do not support this, and they do not want to be stuck with the bill.  This type of reckless borrowing and spending has already buried us $17 trillion deep in debt.  We need to focus on our problems here at home instead of funneling tax dollars overseas to Ukraine, Afghanistan, or anywhere else.”

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JONES VOTES FOR BILL TO REIN IN EXECUTIVE OVERREACH

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) voted in favor of legislation that would require President Barack Obama to diligently enforce all laws passed by Congress rather than execute only the pieces of legislation that fit his political agenda.  H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014, would establish a procedure through which either the House or Senate could bring civil action against any member of the executive branch that does not faithfully enforce the law.  Such cases would be heard by a three-judge panel of a U.S. district court and could be directly appealed to the Supreme Court. 

“President Barack Obama – and all future presidents of the United States – should not be allowed to cherry-pick which laws they want to enforce,” said Congressman Jones.  “It is time we uphold the Constitution, which clearly states that the executive has a responsibility to faithfully administer all laws passed by Congress.”

H.R. 4138 passed the House with a vote of 233 to 181 and will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

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JONES VOTES TO END IRS TARGETING OF CONSERVATIVE GROUPS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) voted in favor of legislation to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from unfairly targeting tax-exempt organizations based on their political affiliations.  The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865) would impose a one year delay on a rule proposed by the Obama administration to narrow the standards that an organization must meet to attain 501(c)(4) status.  These new standards would violate the First Amendment by prohibiting tax-exempt organizations from engaging in actions or speech that the administration deems to fall under the category of “candidate-related political activity.”  H.R. 3865 would instead mandate that the IRS return to using the standards that were in place prior to 2010 when determining whether an organization meets 501(c)(4) requirements.   

“The Obama administration has an unfortunate history of trampling on the rights of the American people, and the newly proposed IRS regulations are no exception,” said Congressman Jones.  “I believe today’s legislation is a necessary step to protect our First Amendment rights – particularly given the fact that the IRS has admittedly engaged in discriminatory practices in the recent past.” 

In addition, Congressman Jones joined 51 of his House colleagues to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle.  Congressman Jones and his colleagues pointed out that no employees have been indicted since the actions of the IRS were brought to light.  Rather, the investigation into the scandal is being led by Barbara Bosserman – a known donor to Democratic campaigns and employee of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which is historically recognized as the most partisan office at the agency.

The letter sent to Attorney General Holder by Congressman Jones and his colleagues is available at the link below.

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JONES HONORED FOR PRO-LIFE, PRO-FAMILY VOTES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) has been awarded the Family Research Council Action True Blue Award for his commitment to pro-life and pro-family values.  Congressman Jones earned a perfect 100 percent on FRC Action’s 2013 scorecard by consistently voting to defend faith, family, and freedom.  

“I am honored to be a recipient of this year’s True Blue Award,” said Congressman Jones.  “I will continue to be a staunch advocate for the most vulnerable among us – the unborn – while fighting to defend the strong principles of faith and family that I share with my fellow Eastern North Carolinians.”

 

The complete 2013 FRC Action scorecard is available here.

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