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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 8, 2009
CONTACT: Colleen Holmes, Executive Director, (202) 544-0353
Eagle Forum Champions Courageous House Republicans
For Opposing Hate Crimes Down to Last Vote
Washington, DC — Eagle Forum, a leading conservative public policy advocacy organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly, commends the 131 Republican Members of Congress who today opposed final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2010, H.R. 2647) Conference Report because of the liberal Majority's refusal to remove the highly controversial Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) language from the bill. 13 Democrats joined in opposing final passage.
H.R. 1913 makes a hate crime-a crime in which the victim is intentionally selected based on his or her race, religion, ethnicity, or gender-a federal offense. Back in April of this year, the House passed this legislation as a stand-alone bill, but in July, the Senate attached it as an amendment to the defense authorization.
"Not only does this hate crimes legislation have no place in a defense funding measure, especially during a time of war, but House liberals explicitly refused to extend special protected status to military personnel in committee and through a Republican motion on the floor while the stand-alone bill was being debated back in April," said Eagle Forum Executive Director Colleen Holmes.
"Forcing Members of Congress to choose between funding our troops and opposing the Left's radical social engineering policy is truly despicable," said Holmes. "Of course, we can't forget about the Senate Democrats who made matters worse with their underhanded maneuver that attached the hate crimes text to the Defense Authorization in the first place."
"Eagle Forum commends those Members who voted NO on hate crimes all the way down to the very last vote," concluded Holmes. "Many of these Congressmen have never opposed a military funding bill, until today. It was a tough decision that took a lot of guts, and their principled stance won't go unrecognized."
Eagle Forum also applauds the 178 Members who voted on Tuesday for the Motion to Instruct, which would have removed the hate crimes language from the bill.
Among the 131 Republicans who voted NO on final passage because of strong opposition to the hate crimes text were longtime Eagle Forum allies Reps. Akin (MO), Bachmann (MN), Blunt (MO), Price (GA), King (IA), Franks (AZ), and McClintock (CA), along with a united GOP Leadership team of Reps. Cantor (VA), Boehner (OH), and Pence (IN).