Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Congressional briefing: Brownback, Kennedy work together on a bill

November 20, 2007

Here is today's news from the Kansas Congressional members.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R)

(National Catholic Register) Kennedy, Brownback team up on bill: What do pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., have in common? They both oppose a practice that Brownback calls "one of the dirty little secrets going on in society right now." He is referring to what happens after a woman is told that the child she carries will be born with Down syndrome. "It's just become almost common practice to abort that child," said Brownback. Gina Urbanski of Papillion, Neb., can't imagine such a "solution." Her sixth child, Nathan, was born with Down syndrome New Year's Eve last year. She and her husband, John, didn't know that until after his birth, though; the couple had refused an amniocentesis because of its risk of miscarriage. According to former presidential candidate Brownback's office, 90 percent of children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. The abortion rate is similar for children prenatally diagnosed with other conditions such as spina bifida, cystic fibrosis and dwarfism. In an effort to turn the tide, the senator has joined forces with Kennedy. Both Catholics, they are co-sponsoring the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, first introduced in the 109th Congress in 2005 but reintroduced this July. ... The $25 million bill would require that parents who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition, prenatally or up until a year after birth, will be provided current information about the nature of the condition and connected to support services and networks.

(Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette) Video game ratings draw senators' ire: The video game industry needs to toughen its standards for rating violent games, a group of senators including Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said Monday. Reacting to the "mature" rating of "Manhunt 2" -- an upgrade from "adult only" after the game's publisher blurred some of the violent parts -- the lawmakers said it's time to review the "robustness" of the ratings process. A spokesman for the Entertainment Software Ratings Board would not confirm Monday that the original rating of the game was "adults only," but a statement from the agency in August said the "mature" rating was issued after the game was modified. The board said the revised "Manhunt 2" has "intense violence, blood and gore, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs." ... Bayh and Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., quoted a psychologist who said that because "Manhunt 2" players use realistic motions to act out the torture and murder scenes of the game, "you're basically teaching a child the behavioral sequence of killing." The lawmakers said the ratings board should take the acting-out aspect of games into account when issuing ratings.

Kansas Congressional Delegation

(Emporia Gazette, editorial by Patrick Kelley) A record to be proud of: One of the results of that soul-searching is that members of Congress are doing much less traveling on other people's money. The Associated Press reported last week that members of the Kansas congressional delegation are hardly accepting any trips at all. In fact, there have been only two such trips this year by Kansans. Rep. Todd Tiahrt accepted a paid trip to Springfield, Mo., to give a talk at Evangel University and Rep. Nancy Boyda let the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce pay for her trip from Topeka to Kansas City, Kan., to look at economic progress there. Compared to (Jack) Abramoff's excursions to Scotland, Tiahrt and Boyda's trips look like a walk to the corner and back. As for Emporia's member of Congress, Rep. Jerry Moran hasn't done any traveling this year on other people's money. He didn't do any in 2005, either. Last year, he accepted two trips -- one to give a speech in Colorado Springs to the Kansas Bankers Association and one to give a speech in Memphis, Tenn., to the Delta Council, which deals with economic development in the Mississippi Delta. The travel report indicates that all of the members of the Kansas delegation -- Republicans and Democrats, Senate and House -- take their responsibility to the people of the state seriously and are careful to avoid even the appearance of impropriety as they carry out their duties.

Congressional briefing appears semi-regularly, Monday through Friday. If you've seen a news story or other blog entry about the Kansas Congressional delegation that we've missed, do let us know.

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