WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus in Congress, today released the following statement in light of the continued violence perpetrated by the terrorist group ISIS against Christians in Iraq, with some reports indicating the group is systematically beheading children.
Franks said, “True leadership is not merely navigating tumultuous times. It is having the basic foresight necessary to forestall the obvious disasters on the horizon, rather than waiting until the resulting tragedy forces a response that is too little too late.
“By now, President Obama’s snide remark during his debate with Mitt Romney has become infamous. Responding to Governor Romney’s suggestion that Russia represented America’s number one geopolitical foe, Mr. Obama merely smirked and criticized what he called a foreign policy from the 1980’s. We now see this arrogant and juvenile response for what it is. But moments later, Mr. Obama followed it up with an additional criticism of Governor Romney’s suggestion that we not pull out of Iraq too quickly, lest we leave behind a vacuum of power that terrorists would rush to fill.
“If there is one thing as surprising as the obliviousness of this President, it is the totality of that obliviousness. Truly, it seems as if there is no threat that has not managed to catch him utterly off-guard. And the sad reality is that his consistent inability to anticipate obvious danger has almost invariably led to the loss of innocent life on an massive and heartbreaking scale.
“As the radical terrorist group ISIS – which Mr. Obama once compared to a junior varsity basketball team – continues its rampage across Iraq, reportedly beheading children and selling women into sexual slavery along the way, a half-hearted scramble to catch up simply will not be sufficient at this point. We are witnessing a Christian genocide in Iraq and this President has a moral obligation to respond swiftly and completely to the situation his own ineptitude helped to create.”Read More
“Mr. Speaker, I thought nothing this President could say or do would surprise me anymore, but his flushed and breathless rush to embrace terrorists launching rockets at Israeli children is an unprecedented act of cowardice and betrayal.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and a ranking Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, today took to the House floor to slam Obama for an “unprecedented act of cowardice and betrayal” in the Administration’s response (or lack thereof) to the barrage of rockets that have been launched at Israel this week. View the full one-minute floor speech here and read the transcript below:
"Mr. Speaker, last month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas openly united with the evil terrorist group, Hamas, and this very moment they are raining rockets down upon the innocent citizens of Israel. Half of all Israelis have sought cover in bomb shelters across their tiny country. And the Obama Administration has had the reprehensible gall to praise Abbas as someone who is “committed to non-violence and…cooperation with Israel,” and to further proclaim in an Israeli newspaper that, quote “Finally, peace is possible!”
Mr. Speaker, I thought nothing this President could say or do would surprise me anymore, but his flushed and breathless rush to embrace terrorists launching rockets at Israeli children is an unprecedented act of cowardice and betrayal.
America’s fleet should this minute be off the coast of Israel, and the world, including Abbas, Hamas, and Hezbollah, should know that America’s arsenal of freedom stands ready to defend our most precious ally in the world."Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), co-chair of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, released the following statement regarding recent rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem:
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel as they head for safety in bomb shelters throughout the country.
"Ironically, even as Hamas’ rockets rain down on Israel, President Obama has an article in an Israeli newspaper claiming, ‘Finally, peace is possible.’
“Even as we enter some of the tensest moments in Israel in recent memory, this President still fails to understand that peace talks will never work when Israel is the only party at the table truly interested in peace, while the Palestinian Authority continues to openly court and fund the very same terrorists who have, in recent days, kidnapped and murdered teenagers and, even today, rained rockets on innocent civilians in major Israeli cities.
“For too long this Administration has played the bedfellow of the Palestinian Authority, even going so far as to kowtow to the P.A.’s talking points, calling Israel an ‘apartheid state.’ The United States must now stand behind Prime Minister Netanyahu as he makes the difficult decisions necessary to fulfill his promise to put an end to Hamas ‘once and for all.’”
Last month, Congressman Franks was joined by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in introducing a bipartisan resolution, H.Res 622, calling for the full suspension of US foreign aid to the new Palestinian Authority unity government with Hamas. The text of the resolution is attached.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, today issued the following response to the United States’ Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in favor of Hobby Lobby in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby:
George Washington said of government, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” That the government would not merely tell a private business how it should operate, but would demand that a private business violate their religious convictions to provide government-mandated abortifacients is not something our founders could have ever envisioned.
Unfortunately, that is the Obama legacy, and it can be summed up pretty succinctly: more babies aborted than jobs created. This Administration has consistently and unconscionably implemented policies across the board that negatively impact the most vulnerable in our society.
I am thankful the Supreme Court saw reason in this case and that the basic rights of conscience and religious freedom – the very foundation of American democracy – withstood these galling and outrageous attacks from the Obama administration.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) today introduced the National Border and Homeland Security Act in response to the growing crisis on our southern border.
According to Franks, “Border security and national security are inextricably linked. A porous border is an open invitation to those who wish to harm America, and for too long our borders have been an inviting access point for drug smugglers, human traffickers, and potential terrorists. The situation has only become more dire in light of the influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing our southern border en masse.
“Much like in a surgical procedure, the first step undeniably must be to stop the bleeding. The National Border and Homeland Security Act aims to do precisely that.”
The National Border and Homeland Security Act would direct the Department of Homeland Security to finish the construction of fencing, and to provide for the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors to gain operational control of the southwest border. Operational control of the border will no longer be defined solely by DHS, but will require consultation with border governors, mayors, and sheriffs.
The bill also creates 6,000 new full-time positions for border patrol agents, as well as giving Border Patrol critical access to the 40 percent of land between California and El Paso controlled by the federal government – much of it in the form of national parks and wildlife refuges where border patrol agents are often denied access.
The bill also better equips our border patrol agents to protect our national security by providing the advanced equipment necessary to scan for nuclear materials.
The full text of the bill is attached.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Trent Franks, co-chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, issued the following statement in response to today’s arrest of Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian Sudanese mother who yesterday won her appeal and was lifted of all charges of apostasy and adultery because of her Christian faith.
Congressman Franks introduced House Resolution 601, a resolution that condemned Meriam’s death sentence and called for State Department to provide her a safe haven in the U.S. H.Res.601 has over 70 bipartisan sponsors. Congressman Franks also led a congressional letter to Secretary Kerry that advocated for further action from State Department on Meriam’s behalf. The letter is attached.
“I remain deeply concerned about Meriam Ibrahim’s safety in Sudan. Although Meriam won her appeal yesterday and was declared innocent of all charges she faced because of her Christian faith, I learned this morning that she was held at the airport by the National Intelligence Security Service and was subsequently arrested. I am appalled by the continued threats against Meriam, her husband, their two young children, and her lawyers.
“We must hold Sudanese authorities accountable for this precious family’s safety. Furthermore, the National Intelligence Security Service in Sudan must respect the appeal court’s ruling and allow Meriam and her family to safely leave the country.
“Meriam’s religious freedom, as a universal human right and as a right enshrined in Sudan’s interim constitution, was abysmally abrogated by Sudan. This case is only one example of Sudan’s long record of religious persecution and the U.S. must maintain pressure on Sudan’s government to make desperately needed religious freedom reforms.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Missile Defense Caucus co-chair Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) released the following statement after a successful test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD:
"I want to congratulate Vice Admiral James Syring on the Missile Defense Agency's successful GMD test today. I hope the system’s demonstrated ability to successfully effect its mission will silence the program’s detractors and keep the system’s additional 14 interceptors on schedule.
“During the last 5 years missile threats to America have steadily and significantly increased, yet President Obama has cut funding for our missile defenses every year he has been in office. Despite the administration’s negligence, Admiral Syring and the GMD contractor team pulled off a successful threat-representative test and proved, once again, that this system works and is capable of protecting the American people from a long range ICBM.
“Our Ground Based Midcourse Defense is the only missile defense system America has in place that defends the American people from long-range nuclear missiles, including potential ballistic missiles from Iran, North Korea, or other rogue states. We will continue to fight to ensure that GMD remains funded at the appropriate levels and that the Missile Defense Agency has the support of Congress it needs to complete its mission.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ-08) and Diane Black (R-TN-06) led a bipartisan effort of 105 Members of the House to send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) urging him to allow for a vote in the Senate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), who carried the House version of the bill, said, "One year ago, the case of Kermit Gosnell shocked the sensibilities of millions of Americans. However, the crushing fact is that abortions on babies just like the ones killed by Kermit Gosnell have been happening in America every single day for the past 41 years -- including the year that has passed since America first learned of Kermit Gosnell. Had Kermit Gosnell agonizingly dismembered these babies before they had traveled down the birth canal only moments earlier, he would have, in many places nationwide, been performing an entirely legal procedure. If America truly understands that horrifying reality, hearts and laws will change.
"To that end, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed out of the House last year, marked the first time in history, in either chamber of the U.S. Congress, that affirmative protection has been extended to unborn children. I applaud Senator Lindsey Graham's boldness in championing the Senate companion bill (S. 1670), I thank my colleague Diane Black for her work on behalf of this vital cause, and I urge Harry Reid to finally allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote. America is one of only seven countries that allows elective, late-term abortions after the beginning of the sixth month. It is time that America finally opens her eyes to the humanity of these little victims and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.”
Congressman Diane Black (TN-06) added, “More than a year after the conviction of the abortionist Kermit Gosnell, it is long past time that the Senate move forward and pass this bipartisan legislation to help protect the health of women and children. Sadly, the United States lags far behind most of the world when it comes to protections for unborn children. There is clear evidence that these babies can feel the pain of dismemberment in the womb -- it’s time we acknowledge the science and take action to protect our unborn children. I thank Congressman Franks for his leadership in this effort, and I hope Senator Reid will heed this call and move forward without delay.”
As the Congressmen wrote in their letter, on May 13, Senator Lindsey Graham’s request for floor consideration of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was blocked. Click here for a digital copy of the Members’ letter to Senator Reid.Read More
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you all for being here. Today, the subcommittee will examine the state of religious liberty in America. This continues a tradition of this subcommittee of holding a hearing on this topic each Congress.
I will now recognize myself for an opening statement.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights."
Religious liberty is our first freedom and it is the cornerstone of all other human freedoms. The Bill of Rights passed by the First Congress included protections for religious freedom because without religious liberty and freedom of conscience, all other liberties cease to exist. Indeed, religious liberty is the wellspring of our other liberties and a defining statement of freedom in America.
This belief is something that has set America apart from all other nations since the Declaration of Independence declared nearly 240 years ago that we hold it a self evident truth that all men are created equal. Ladies and Gentlemen, the foundational and quintessential premise of America is that we are all created children of God, equal in His sight, and that we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. America's founding premise is itself an intrinsic expression of religious conviction.
Consequently, the Obama Administration's flippant willingness to fundamentally abrogate America's priceless religious freedom in the name of leftist social engineering is of grave concern to me, and should be to all of us.
The most egregious examples from the Administration include their concerted effort to force religious ministries like the Little Sisters of the Poor to purchase abortifacient drugs and contraceptives. With breathtaking arrogance, this Administration also told the Supreme Court two years ago in the Hosanna-Tabor case, that government should have a say in deciding who could be a pastor, priest, or rabbi—in short, who could preach and teach religion. This was unanimously rejected by the Supreme court as “untenable” and “extreme.”
This Administration seems to casually ignore the historical fact that religious liberty involves much more than freedom of worship alone, and that the fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion do not stop at the exit door of your local house of worship, but instead, extend to every area of life.
So-called anti-discrimination policies that make no exception for religious beliefs threaten religious liberty. For most religious groups, public service is an essential element of their religious beliefs. Religious groups in America establish hospitals, operate homeless shelters, provide counseling services, and run agencies for adoption and foster care for children who might otherwise have no one else in the world to help them.
Those who refuse to respect the public component of religious liberty, and fail to accommodate religion in our generally applicable laws, are putting many innocent people as well as the religious freedom that undergirds America, in grave danger.
Oftentimes, religious freedom is suppressed in the name of a ‘‘strict wall of separation between church and state.’’
While that phrase did indeed appear prominently in the Soviet constitution, it appears nowhere in the United States Constitution, and the profound historical misinterpretation of that phrase by the secular left leaves me without adequate expression.
Sometime ago a Marxist economist from China was coming to the end of a Fulbright Fellowship in Boston. When asked if he had learned anything that was surprising or unexpected, without hesitation he said, "Yeah, I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy."
Ladies and Gentlemen, it bears careful reflection that many men and women have died in darkness so that Americans could walk in the light of religious freedom. They gave all they had because they knew that religious freedom is critical to the survival of all other freedoms. It is so very important for us, now and always, to resist the ubiquitous efforts by the secular left to do away with religious freedom in America as they have successfully done in so many other parts of the world.
In America, every individual has the right to religious freedom and First Amendment expression so long as they do not deny the constitutional rights of another. True tolerance does not mean that we have no differences, it means that we are obligated as members of the human family to be kind and respectful to each other in spite of those differences, religious or otherwise.
I would like to thank our witnesses for being here, and I look forward to hearing from them about some of the unique challenges now facing this cornerstone of freedom in the United States. And I now yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Cohen, for his opening statement.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Trent Franks, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Orphans and Vulnerable Children, released the following statement in response to the recent influx of children immigrating to the United States illegally due to Obama Administration policy changes, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
According to Franks, "There are only two possibilities: either this President is so conniving that he would use displaced children to make a political point, knowing from the beginning the impact his policy changes would have, or he is so inept that he failed to foresee the ‘humanitarian crisis’ his policies would cause.
“The unfortunate reality is, whatever purpose Mr. Obama may have had in making these policy changes, the end result does these children absolutely no favors. In addition to the current fears and hardships these innocent children must endure, I have seen all too often, as the Chair of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Caucus and former director of the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, that human traffickers thrive on precisely the kind of bureaucratic chaos to which this Administration has subjected these children.
“This President’s lawlessness has now come to bear on some of the most helpless in our society, and the American people demand a thorough explanation. Every Administration official who failed to respond to this crisis before it reached its current boiling point must be held fully accountable.”
2435 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Trent Franks is a conservative Reagan Republican, and he has spent most of his life working on children’s issues and trying to build a better future for all children.
Trent is someone who still believes that there is such a thing as the truth and that people and principles should be at the center of political discourse in America. He works very hard in the United States Congress for smaller government by cutting government waste, reducing taxes, bureaucracy, and regulation. Trent believes in personal responsibility, free enterprise and that government’s first purpose is to protect its innocent citizens.
Trent is a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives. While in the House, he served as Vice-Chairman of the House Commerce Committee and Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Child Protection and Family Preservation.
In January of 1987, Trent was appointed by the Governor to head the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, which is a Cabinet level division of the Governor’s office responsible for overseeing and coordinating state policy and programs for Arizona’s children.
Trent served four and a half years as the Executive Director of the Arizona Family Research Institute, a non-profit organization associated with Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family for the purpose of advocating public policy to protect children and families in Arizona. The Arizona Family Research Institute later became the Center for Arizona Policy.
Trent Franks is past Chairman of the Children’s Hope Scholarship Foundation and a Republican Member of The United States Congress. He currently serves on the Armed services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, and is now Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee.
He is a member of the Republican Study Committee, the House Working Group on Judicial Accountability, House Working Group on Waste, Fraud and Abuse, the Congressional Hispanic Conference, the Liberty Caucus, the DUI Caucus, the Human Rights Caucus, the India Caucus, the Refugee Caucus, and the Education Freedom Caucus.
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