June 18th, 2024

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House is out this week and the Senate is in for a short week (in other words, their normal work week). 

Before leaving town last week, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act which contained several key amendments to address the White House’s continued politicization of the military. Among them were amendments to:

  • Block the Pentagon’s abortion tourism policy, which requires taxpayers to reimburse troops who travel to seek an abortion; 
  • Block taxpayer funded transgender surgeries;
  • Prohibit the Pentagon from engaging in the neo-racism of diversity, equity, and inclusion programming;
  • Redirect military efforts away from climate change and toward a more lethal fighting force;
  • Defund the U.S. military pier off the coast of Gaza;
  • Block any funding for the Pentagon to bring in Palestinian refugees.

The bill will now have to be negotiated with the Senate, whose version of NDAA has been marked up by the Senate Armed Services Committee but has not yet been considered on the floor. Among the notable differences: the Senate’s bill requires women to register for the draft.

For its part, the Senate is frozen in place. Its sluggish pace of confirmations has been moving even slower than usual thanks to the efforts of the Senate’s conservatives who are objecting to the expedited processing of any Biden nominations – their response to the White House and the Department of Justice engaging in open political warfare against their political opponents.

Fourteen senators have joined Sen. Mike Lee in pledging to vote against any increases in spending for the Biden White House, vote against Biden nominations, and object to expedited consideration of Democrat sponsored non-security related legislation. Four GOP senators have joined Sen. JD Vance in committing to blocking expedited confirmation for four dozen of the White House’s nominations. 

At this point, these efforts are the only sign of life coming from the Senate GOP in response to the unprecedented weaponization of our justice system by the Biden White House.

Waiting on SCOTUS

Finally, June is upon us which means a flurry of decisions is coming from the Supreme Court. You’ve seen the build up to this moment in the press – the left, along with their willing handmaidens in the media, has been attempting to de-legitimize the Court and its conservative justices ahead of some crucial decisions. 

The Court is the one institution the left doesn’t control, which is why they intend to (rhetorically, anyway) burn it to the ground. This is why, for example, the Washington Post sat for three years on the story about Mrs. Alito flying a Revolutionary War flag at her home – until they could run the story just before the June decisions. It’s why activists are secretly recording conservative justices at events. And why the left and the media shamelessly report on the financial disclosures of the conservative justices – while ignoring the exact same fact patterns that exist on behalf of the liberal jurists.

Regardless, the decisions are forthcoming. The Court last week released its decision in U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which sought to challenge expanded access to the abortion drug mifepristone over safety concerns. In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Court dismissed the case on the grounds that the doctors and medical groups challenging expanded access to the drug lacked the legal right to sue. The justices did not rule on the merits of the decision. Erin Hawley, senior counsel at the Alliance for Defending Freedom, argued for the respondents and had this to say about the ruling:

“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not reach the merits of the FDA’s lawless removal of commonsense safety standards for abortion drugs. Nothing in today’s decision changes the fact that the FDA’s own label says that roughly one in 25 women who take chemical abortion drugs will end up in the emergency room—a dangerous reality the doctors and medical associations we represent in this case know all too well. The FDA recklessly leaves women and girls to take these high-risk drugs all alone in their homes or dorm rooms, without requiring the ongoing, in-person care of a doctor…”

Last week the Court also struck down a ban on bump stocks (an attachment to a semi-automatic rifle) in a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas. On Thursday, the Court is expected to release more decisions. We are still waiting for potentially blockbuster opinions related to the criminal immunity of former presidents, the appropriateness of charging January 6th rioters with obstructing official proceedings, the legality of state-based attempts to regulate social media, and the outer bounds of federal agency power, among other issues.

The Latest From Around The Conservative Movement

  • The Biden administration pledged it would build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030. So far, it’s built seven, because of DEI.

One More Thing…

The fourth National Conservatism Conference will be held in Washington, DC next month, from July 8-10. CPI subscribers are entitled to a 20 percent discount on NatCon4 registration – when asked at the registration link “How did you hear about the conference?” please select “other” and enter “CPI” in the field. The discount is applied at checkout.

For more information on speakers and to register, visit the conference website.