Last Week in Congress and the NC General Assembly by Col. Brenda T. Formo (US Army – R)

Brenda T. Formo provides weekly briefings on behalf of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women.  To join, click here.

Katy’s Conservative Corner is the only North Carolina blogger with permission to reproduce these reports.  KCC thanks Col. Formo for her continued research on behalf of the Federation.

NC General Assembly

Defense of Marriage Amendment

The Marriage Amendment passed in the Legislature this week.  It will be on the ballot for the May 2012 primary so that the people of North Carolina can vote on it.

The bill states that Article 14 of the NC Constitution  is amended by adding a new section that states, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.  This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

A Pro-Marriage Amendment rally was held on Sep 12th at the Halifax Mall adjacent to the Legislative buildings in Raleigh.  The rally was hosted by The Upper Room Church of Christ in Raleigh and was attended by a diverse group of concerned citizens of both political parties.    As we were walking toward the rally, some of them were saying that they just couldn’t believe that in NC marriage would be controversial.

Inspirational leaders from The Upper Room Church of Christ addressed the crowd, including Pastor Patrick L. Wooden and his wife Pamela.  Church coordinators for the event were Wanda Thomas and Anthony Wilson.  They did a commendable job in getting people out because it was a huge crowd.  Our own Felice Pete, of the congregation and President of the Wake County Republican Women, was there with her new baby, Reagan.  What dedication to the Defense of Marriage!

Kevin Daniels, President of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of NC was also a speaker and drew praise for his comments.  The rally was inspiring and uplifting while giving evidence that marriage between one man and one woman is beneficial for families and reflects on our nation’s Christian heritage.  The people attending the rally made a difference in the legislative vote by showing that they care about the definition of marriage in NC.

During the next eight months there will be much debate from both sides.

The White House has already responded to North Carolinians by stating that “President Obama opposes laws ‘designed to take rights away.’”

In related news, House Republicans are seeking ways to delay the termination of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” enacted during the Clinton administration.  Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) expires on September 20, 2011.  In brief, under DADT military members keep their sexuality preferences private.

US House of Representatives

Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act (HR 2587)

The bill “Amends the National Labor Relations Act to deny the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) any power to: (1) order an employer (or seek an order against an employer) to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment; (2) rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting,  outsourcing, or other change regarding the location, entity, or employer who shall be engaged in production or other business operations; or (3) require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility, or location.
“The House passed the measure in a vote of 238 to 186 with 9 not voting on Sep 15, 2011.
NC Representatives voting for the legislation to prevent the NLRB from overstepping its authority as in the case of the NLRB against Boeing in SC, resulting in potential job losses:
Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones (R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Sue Myrick (R-9th) Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), and Heath Shuler (D-11th).
NC Congressional Representatives against the bill:

G. K. Butterfield (D-1st), David E. Price (D-4th), Larry Kissell (D-8th) Melvin L. Watt (D-12th), and  Brad Miller (D-13th).

In a press release, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said that Governor Beverly Perdue should “stand up to the federal government and defend North Carolina’s right to work status, the state’s most important jobs law that gives North Carolina a competitive edge over other states competing for new businesses.”    To date, she has been mum.

Sources:  ncga; Observations from Sep 12 Marriage Amendment Rally and General Assembly; Washington Blade, ”White House Responds to N.C. Marriage Amendment by Chris Johnson, Sep 13, 2011 and “House GOP Seeks to Delay End to ‘Don’t Ask’” by Chris Johnson, Sep 15, 2011; News Release: “Berger: Perdue Shoud Stand Up to NLRB, Encourage Job Growth,” Sep 15, 2011; and house.gov.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on this volatile issue and to see how those on the opposing side stand, your blogger suggests you check out her friend, Pam Spaulding‘s blog, Pam’s House Blend.  KCC does not see members of the Republican Party and the Libertarian and unaffiliated voters as a “sure thing” in the vote for this amendment.  Many of these people feel that this is a case where the “government needs to keep hands off”, and these people, if compelled, will get out and vote against the amendment in May.  We shall see how this goes in the ensuing months!

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