Anti-reproductive rights news venue Life Site praises Minnesota Seventh Congressional District Democrat Collin Peterson in BREAKING: 200+ congressmen back elderly nuns against ‘oppressive’ abortifacient HHS mandate:
Two Democrats have joined more than 200 Republicans in a brief urging the Supreme Court to stand behind elderly nuns, Catholic priests, and other religious groups in their fight against what the Members are calling the "oppressive" HHS abortifacient and contraceptive mandate.
"It is not the government's place to determine what a person's religion requires, and the government cannot justify trampling religious beliefs when it has readily available alternatives to accomplish its goal," said a letter to Members from Representatives Diane Black, R-TN, and Mike Kelly, R-PA.
In an exclusive interview this morning, Rep. Black told LifeSiteNews that "Obamacare’s HHS mandate sets up an impossible choice for countless ministries and faith based charities: deny their deeply held beliefs and provide coverage for drugs they deem to be morally objectionable, or face crippling fines that could force them to close their doors."
Members in both chambers have signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court urging justices to respect both the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Along with 205 Republican Senators and Congressmen are Democratic Representatives Dan Lipinski of Illinois and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.
The Atlantic's Emma Green looks at the case in The Little Sisters of the Poor Are Headed to the Supreme Court. For a pro-choice view of the lawsuits against the HHS mandate, we recommend Jessica Mason Pieklo's series of articles at RH Reality Check.
The move follows Peterson's vote earlier this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Conservative news site CNS News reported in 3 GOP Votes Against Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood and Repeal Obamacare, 1 Democrat Vote for It:
Three House Republicans on Wednesday voted against the reconciliation bill that would defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare while one Democrat voted for it. The bill passed the House of Representatives 240-181.
Republican Representatives Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), and John Katko (R-N.Y.) broke ranks with 239 of their Republican colleagues and opposed the bill while Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the only House Democrat to vote for the bill.
The Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762) ends federal funding of Planned Parenthood for one year by prohibiting Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood services. . . .
Minnesota Public Radio reported in The latest vote to repeal Obamacare wasn't along party lines:
The other is that although the so-called Obamacare tends to be a partisan flashpoint, it wasn't a party-line vote. Three Republicans and a lone Democrat crossed the aisle for their vote.
That sole Democrat was Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, who noted that the vote wasn't for a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He wouldn't have voted for a whole repeal, he said.
Peterson said the fact that he was the lone Democrat is a sign of how politically split Washington is. He defended his vote in an interview with MPR News' Tom Crann on Thursday, and claims that provisions in the bill change Obamacare but don't repeal it. Peterson says Congress should be working to change the legislation to improve it.
"We have now wasted what — three or four years going back and forth on this repealing the whole thing or keeping the whole thing when what we should be doing is working to fix it," he said.
No Republican opponent for 2016 so far
While the conservative Democrat frequently shows up on national Republican hit lists, there's no new Republican candidate so far to file to run against him and the 2014 flavor of the year, Elbow Lake state senator Torrey Westrom, wasn't raising any money in 2015 to run again for Congress.
(We're seeing repeated visits to some old posts from 2013 about potential candidate Scott Van Binsbergen, but he has filed, there's nothing in district newspapers and the visitors are all based in Washington, DC., so we're not sure what that's about.)
As we posted in MN07 Independence Party: non-profit hero Kevin Winge exploring challenge to Collin Peterson, there might be a third party challenger in the race. In Winge's last post on his exploratory committee website, he wrote:
I have always believed that public service is a noble cause. Those of us who have benefitted from all that America has to offer have an obligation to give something back to our country. I want to bring a new voice to our political discourse and new leadership to the U.S. Congress.
The next step in this exploratory phase of a congressional campaign is to raise enough money to be seen as a credible candidate. I’ve asked you to contribute to some seemingly impossible things in the past. I hope I can count on your financial support again. Together, we can do the impossible once more.
We'll continue to consult the FEC website for filings.
SOTU guest ticket to parents of soldier killed in war
Meanwhile, the Forum Communications chain reports:
Rep. Collin Peterson, the Democrat representing Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, donated his [State of the Union Address guest] ticket to Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, so that the congressman could invite both parents of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, a Peterson spokeswoman said.
That's a kind gesture.
Photo: Rep. Collin Peterson, circa 2014.
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