by Jill Stanek
This is the 3rd time I’ve written about the chairmanship of a House committee, which is a lot. But as the National Right to Life Committee detailed in a letter to the House Republican Steering Committee on November 18:
There is no committee of the House of Representatives that has policy and oversight jurisdiction over as many areas of concern to the pro-life movement as the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Those would include abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and Obamacare.
Four of the 5 most senior E&C committee members want the chairman’s job when the Republican-dominated House convenes in January :
Joe Barton (TX-06): Pro-life
John Shimkus (IL-19): Pro-life
Cliff Stearns (FL-06): Pro-life
Fred Upton (MI-06): Pro-abortion
The one person who should not even be a contender is Fred Upton, particularly in light of the pro-life movement’s display of muscle in the 2010 elections. But which of the other 3 should get the job?
Sadly, Upton is more than a contender, he’s a leading contender. Read Upton’s atrocious legislative offenses against the sanctity of human life at Human Events. Also see Kerry Picket's commentary in the Washington Times.
But it’s not enough to say no to Upton. Pro-lifers must also indicate who they support.
I support John Shimkus and urge fellow pro-lifers to call their representatives on the steering committee today, also expressing support for him. The vote is anticipated tomorrow.
Congressman Shimkus is from my home state of Illinois, and I have known him many years. While all 3 of the aforementioned pro-lifers co-sponsored the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (and Upton did not), it was Shimkus who went a step further and testified on its behalf on the House floor.
Shimkus’s pro-life accomplishments are many. But to the point of the E&C Committee, Shimkus has written a “Dear Colleague” letter detailing his intention to see fetal pain legislation reintroduced on the federal level, which is critical
Shimkus also detailed in that letter how he helped stop federal dollars from funding telemed abortions.
These 2 examples show Congressman Shimkus has his finger on the pulse of the latest pro-life and anti-life developments and wants to use his leadership position on the E&C Committee to steer their course.
For these reasons, I urge the Steering Committee to choose Congressman Shimkus as E&C chairman.