The Supreme Court ruled in June that the government can’t force companies like Hobby Lobby to pay for birth control, sending the administration scrambling for a way to ensure their employees can still get birth control one way or another at no added cost. The dual decisions mark the Obama administration’s latest effort to address a long-running conflict that has pitted the White House against churches and other religious groups. The dispute has sparked dozens of legal challenges, fueling an election-year debate about whether religious liberty should trump a woman’s access to health care options. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by nonprofit organizations and closely held for-profit companies,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. Yet the latest proposals will likely run up against the same objections, because they still enable employees to receive contraception through their health plans one of a range of preventive services required under President Barack Obama’s health care law. “We will be studying the new rule with our clients, but if today’s announcement is just a different way for the government to hijack the health plans of religious ministries, it is unlikely to end the litigation,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
Both Hagan and Tillis are scheduled to speak to the convention, but Hagan said she plans to talk to the president as well. “I will be there to discuss some of the steps I want to see taken in Washington to uphold the commitment our government has made to North Carolina’s veterans,” Hagan said. The Tillis campaign issued a statement saying Hagan was pointing a finger at the Obama administration to divert attention from what it said were the failures of her own efforts to help veterans. The VA has been shaken by reports that veterans died while waiting for treatment and allegations that workers falsified records to cover up the delays in some cases so the workers could collect bonuses. The scandal forced out former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
Obama: U.S. won’t stop confronting Islamic State | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say the presence of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, the buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border and Russian shelling into Ukraine represent dangerous escalations of tensions by Moscow. The White House says the two leaders agree that a Russian convoy that entered Ukraine without approval is yet another provocation by Moscow that violates Ukraine’s sovereignty. Obama and Merkel spoke Friday while Obama vacationed in the island resort of Martha’s Vineyard. Russia says the convoy that entered Ukraine on Friday is for humanitarian purposes, but Ukraine and the U.S. say the Russians failed to abide by conditions set by Ukraine and the International Red Cross.
Obama and Merkel voice alarm at Russian moves into Ukraine, call for de-escalation | Star Tribune
won’t stop confronting Islamic State 5:54 PM, August 20, 2014 | Email this article Obama: U.S. won’t stop confronting Islamic State President Obama said he spoke to the parents of beheaded freelance journalist James Foley Wednesday, and promised that ‘justice will be done’ to the Islamic State militants who beheaded him. A link to this page will be included in your message. Nightlife
Conservative Republicans single it out as an unnecessary and potentially risky government program, while moderates and most Democrats defend it as providing a useful boost to businesses seeking new markets. Household names such as Boeing Co, Caterpillar Inc and General Electric Co are big beneficiaries of the bank’s services. Ex-Im Bank’s critics say aiding well-established firms such as those serves little purpose and puts taxpayers at risk. Opposition to renewing the bank’s charter includes influential lawmakers such as new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, both Republicans. Fueling concerns about the bank’s role, Delta Airlines charges that the institution provides an unfair advantage to foreign competitors of the U.S. direct loan forgiveness carrier.
Obama to business: tell your lawmakers to renew Ex-Im Bank – Yahoo News
The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance company, that birth control violates their religious beliefs. The government is also extending an existing accommodation to some for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby thats currently available only to nonprofits. That accommodation requires groups to sign a form transferring responsibility for paying for birth control to their insurers or third-party administrators. The dual decisions embrace suggestions included in recent Supreme Court rulings. But theyre unlikely to go far enough to satisfy religious groups.