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April 11, 2003|
Follow the Money |
Sometimes we wonder why a Republican Member of Congress votes wrong on matters of family and social policy, especially those upon which the Republican National Platform takes a strong position. Of course, we are well aware of the liberal proclivities of far-too-many Republicans, but occasionally we notice a recorded vote, or an absence from a committee vote by a "pro-family" representative that just doesn't make sense. That's when it's a good idea to follow the money.
A case in point is the House International Relations Committee debate over a bill dealing with assistance to countries, in particular Africa, where AIDS has reached epidemic proportions. Family Research Council president Ken Connor summed up the problem in his April 3, 2003 Washington Update: "The legislation approved on April 2nd in the International Relations Committee [chaired by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL)] does not adequately reflect the principles President Bush laid down in his request for $15 billion to combat AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately, two GOP defections and four no-shows on a key committee vote put condom distribution on equal footing with abstinence and treatment efforts. An amendment from Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey barring AIDS funding from going to groups that advocate legalized prostitution barely squeaked by on a 24-22 vote! Worse, the committee approved an amendment to create an AIDS czar in the State Department and make the presidential appointment subject to Senate Confirmation. Senate Democrats who are blocking confirmation of Bush judicial nominees simply would refuse to confirm anyone who espoused abstinence or opposed funding abortion groups abroad. Finally, this bill would provide $1 billion for the UN's Global AIDS Fund, a condom distribution outfit that lacks accountability and is marked by inefficiency."
Notably, a political action committee (PAC) known as the Human Rights Campaign Fund which contributes to candidates who wish to advance the causes of the Human Rights Campaign – namely the lesbian, homosexual, bi-sexual and transgender legislative agenda, gave generous contributions to the following Republican Congressional candidates in 2002: [** Members of the House International Relations Committee]
IN THE HOUSE – Charles Bass (NH), $1,000; Judy Biggert (IL), $10,000; Sherwood Boehlert (NY), $10,000; Mary Bono (CA), $1,000; Mike Castle (DE), $2,000; Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), $1,000; Mike Ferguson (NJ), $10,000; Mark Foley (FL), $10,000; Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), $10,000; Benjamin Gilman (NY), $6,000; **Amo Houghton (NY), $3,000; Nancy Johnson (CT), $10,000; Sue Kelly (NY), $10.000; Mark Kirk (IL), $10,000; Jim Kolbe (AZ), $10,000; Michael McNulty (NY), $9,285; Deborah Pryce (OH), $10,000; **Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), $10,000; Chris Shays (CT), $5,025; Rob Simmons (CT), $10,000; and John Sweeney (NY), $10,000.
IN THE SENATE – Susan Collins (ME), $9,419; Frank Lautenberg (NJ), $10,000; Gordon Smith (OR), $1,000; Arlen Specter (PA), $10,000.
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