Tag Archives: congress

With Friends Like This Trump Doesn’t Need Enemies

By Jim O’Neill
Geeze Louise, to listen to Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and a host of other fair-weather friends you would think that President Trump has started eating aborted fetuses for breakfast.  Get a grip people, he signed a short-term Omnibus spending bill, he didn’t give away the keys to the kingdom.
President Trump remains in my opinion the greatest POTUS to come down the pike since the early days of the republic.  I thank God every day that Trump is president, and consider America blessed indeed to have such an intelligent, street savvy, compassionate, stalwart, and courageous patriot at our helm.
How soon we forget.  Do you have ANY idea what America would look like today if Hillary Clinton and the corrupt globalist cabal had won the presidential election?  DO YOU REALLY?  I seriously doubt any of the sunshine patriots and summer-time soldiers who are so quick to dismiss President Trump’s myriad and impressive accomplishments have any real grasp of how closely the USA came to being killed off for good in November of 2016.
In my article “Trickle-Down Trump” I mentioned that one of the qualities that President Trump possesses is a “an unflagging positive attitude.”  The importance of such an attitude on our individual lives and the life of America as a whole cannot be overemphasized.  The famed philosopher William James put it succinctly: “Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power!”
He expanded on this theme during a series of lectures he gave at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland during the fin de siecle of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly.  What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, puling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered?   What is more injurious to others?   What less helpful to others as a way out of difficulty?  It but fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it and increases the total evil of the situation.  At all costs then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood: we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.  But it is impossible to carry on this discipline in the subjective sphere without zealously emphasizing the brighter and minimizing the darker aspects of the objective sphere…. (italics added)
William James “The Varieties of Religious Experience” (p. 86, paperback)
So, lighten the f—k up and give President Trump some breathing room.  Save you “pining, puling, mumping” moods for those who deserve it – say Congress.

Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Calls Senate Failure to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “Appalling”

January 29, 2018

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities called the Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “appalling”. The bill proposes to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization.
“The U.S. Senate’s failure to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, is appalling. Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother. The Senate’s rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans. Opinion polls consistently show that a strong majority of the public opposes late-term abortions—including those who self-identify as ‘pro-choice’. Furthermore, the United States is currently one of only seven countries that allows abortions beyond 20-weeks. The other six are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and the Netherlands. The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions. I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable.”
###

What? Highest Profile Government Body Filled With Felons!

by Rev. Austin Miles
Note to Readers: This story is not a newly uncovered revelation. It has made the rounds already but worth revisiting to give us wisdom for upcoming elections. Research your candidates.

The highest profile U.S. Government Body is staffed with the greatest number of convicted felons on its rolls than any other group in America. Here is a breakdown of the bad deed doers who basically direct our lives and thoughts backed by the law:
**36 have been accused of spousal abuse
**7 have been arrested for fraud
**19 have been accused of writing bad checks
**117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
**3 have done time for assault
**71–repeat—-71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
**14 gave been arrested on drug-related charges
**8 have been arrested for shoplifting
**21 currently are defendants in lawsuits and 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
So which organization is this? NBA or NFL?
Neither. It’s the 536 members of the United States Congress.
Yep, the same group of idiots that crank out hundred of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line….and the laws they pass they exempt themselves.
Oh yes, are you aware of this? You might want to sit down. Eighty one registered Communists occupy a seat in Congress.
Plus there are a large number of Muslims who occupy virtually every office of Homeland Security.  Sheer insanity!
 “Readers, suppose you are an idiot. And suppose you are a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” 
Mark Twain 
Our thanks to Denny Guinta who furnished us with the congress stats.
ANALYZING TODAY’S NEWS FOR TOMORROW’S HISTORY

What’s The Hurry? Senator Sessions On Ryan’s Pelosi-Style “Shove it Down America’s Throat” Spending Bill – Slow Down

Posted on October 31, 2015 by Rick Wells

SESSIONS

It was entirely predictable that the last act of Speaker John Boehner and the first act of Speaker Paul Ryan would be a seamless continuation of the assault on the American people; that‘s what Congress does these days. It’s also no surprise that the assault included a capitulation to the wishes of the anti-American tyrant in the White House, for the same reasons.

The power of the purse is being discarded for the remainder of the Hussein Obama nightmare, as is any pretense of financial responsibility in a deal which Senator Jeff Sessions has discovered looks remarkably similar to one co-authored by Paul Ryan back in 2013. The wolves aren’t just guarding the hen house, they’ve taken it over. It’s a complete abdication of responsibility and duty to their constituents, one which Sessions reminds his Congressional counterparts there is no need to rush to complete. He reminds them of their duty, something they seem to have forgotten, to the people of the nation. On Tuesday Sessions wrote:

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement after outgoing speaker John Boehner and President Obama unveiled a two-year deal to suspend the debt limit, waive federal spending caps and raid workers’ payments into their Social Security Trust Fund:

“Once again, a massive deal, crafted in secret, unveiled at the 11th hour, is being rushed through Congress under threat of panic. Once again, we have waited until an artificial deadline to force through that which our voters oppose.

At its core, this deal with President Obama does two things: First, it lifts federal spending caps for the next two years – including a $40 billion increase in spending on the federal bureaucracy. Second, it waives the federal debt limit through March of 2017, allowing for approximately $1.5 trillion to be added to the debt – ensuring no further conversation about our debt course or any corresponding action to alter it.

It appears this deal is built on the same principles as the Ryan-Murray budget deal from 2013. It exchanges instant increases in federal spending for distant savings, as much two decades down the road, that are likely to never materialize. It funds increased spending through increased revenues – violating a core budget principle by collecting more money to expand an already too-large federal bureaucracy. And it trades the termination of today’s spending limits for the promise of new spending limits ten years from now.

The spending caps in law today were pledged as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act agreement to lift the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion. It represented a bipartisan commitment to cap spending at a fixed amount. This deal shatters that commitment by spending $80 billion more than we promised over the next 2 years.

The deal also uses a common gimmick where alleged savings in an entitlement program are used to boost unrelated spending in the federal bureaucracy. Any savings found to entitlement programs faced with insolvency must be used to shore up those programs – not to surge spending somewhere else. Yet this deal claims illusory savings from Disability Insurance and increased pension insurance fees in order to boost bureaucratic budgets. Perhaps even worse, the deal attempts to stave off the shortfall in fraud-ridden Social Security Disability by plundering from the Social Security Trust Fund for retirees. One hundred and fifty billion dollars in funds will be siphoned from Americans’ payroll retirement contributions and redirected to the mismanaged disability program.

Finally, this deal cements the unacceptable precedent that every dollar of increased defense spending should be matched with a dollar of increased non-defense spending. This is upside-down: if an emergency requires more defense spending, common sense says we should seek to identify reductions, not hikes, to spending in non-defense accounts.

The people want an end to wasteful Washington spending. Lifting the budget caps and raising the debt ceiling through 2017 only ensures that our ineffective bureaucracy continues its wasteful ways while momentum in Washington for debt reduction stalls out. It eliminates a powerful opportunity to advance the case for financial discipline.

The deadline is artificial and can easily be pushed back with a short-term measure if needed. Republicans should insist that any vote on spending caps or the debt ceiling be delayed until the House has chosen a new Speaker – and until there has been a full conversation among our conference and, most importantly, our voters. There is no urgency to pass a 2-year deal. GOP voters are entitled to have their representatives represent them – not act as opposing counsel, urging them to capitulate to the President’s demands. Whether it’s spending, debt, crime, immigration or trade, it is time for us to start fighting for what our voters want – instead of demeaning their just concerns about the future of our country.”

Politics: Filibuster kills Planned Parenthood de-funding bill, but here's a question

My comments:  The author of this article asks why not just zero out Planned Parenthood from next year’s budget.  The author assumes that funding Planned Parenthood and all the other insane things funded with our tax dollars is Constitutional.  IT IS NOT.  Not a single one of these criminals in our Congress is paying attention to their oaths to uphold the Constitution.  If they were, they’d have to vote against anything outside of what is listed in the Constitution which they have a right to fund.
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”  Article I, Section 8, Clause 1
General welfare of the United States does not constitute funding of the murder of infants in their mothers wombs (and outside the womb) and money making sales of those infants’ bodies.  The illegal spending by Congress covers 99% of the unconstitutional spending of our tax dollars.
BY DAN CALABRESE FOR CAINTV.COM

pp

Why not just decline to fund it in next year’s budget?
You’ve heard by now that Democrats held together in a filibuster against the Senate bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. Only two Democrats – Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana – voted for cloture. Only two Republicans voted against it, and Illinois’s Mark Kirk was the only one who was really in opposition. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as much as we are not a fan of his, did so only for procedural purposes so he would have the right to bring it up again in the future.
So as much as many of us had hoped the horrific videos put out recently by the Center for Medical Progress might bring more Democrats into the de-funding fold, it seems clear in retrospect that this was always a long shot. Democrats are wed to Planned Parenthood more firmly than many of them probably are to their own spouses, and they’re not going to let a little thing like baby body part trafficking get in the way of the gravy train.
I would like to ask a question, though: Why do you need to pass a bill to not fund something? Shouldn’t the opportunity for any organization to receive federal funds require an affirmative vote of the Congress? As it stands now, Planned Parenthood funding is presumed to be in the budget forever absent an expressly specific vote that bans it. Why should this be? Why, in an era when Republicans control both houses of Congress, should something so anathema to the thinking of Republicans be guaranteed ongoing funding absent an extraordinary effort to de-fund it?
In theory, at least, it isn’t. The Republican majority could pass a budget next year that zeroes out Planned Parenthood’s funding. And because budgets are not subject to the filibuster, there are not enough Democrats in the Senate to do anything about it. All the Republicans would have to do is hold firm and refuse to send any budget bill to President Obama that includes a dime for Planned Parenthood, and whammo, Planned Parenthood is de-funded.
Now, let’s be clear-eyed about the political machinations that have changed the nature of budgeting and made this harder to achieve than I just made it sound.
We’ll start with the fact that it’s still a battle just to pass a real budget. Democrats stopped even trying to pass real budgets in 2010 because they wanted to hide the fact that the $862 billion “emergency stimulus” of 2009 was going to become part of the permanent budget baseline. And it worked. The media didn’t think it was a story that Congress no longer passed real budgets, nor did they think it was a story that this “one-time” spending blowout wasn’t one time at all. It was every time, forever, because that’s how the federal government does things. Especially when Democrats are in charge.
When Republicans re-took the Senate in 2014, having already taken the House back in 2010, they vowed to return to real budgets. But we’ve hardly seen a return to what we understand as a real budget process, in which Congress submits a budget to the president, they haggle over details and they ultimately negotiate an agreement and pass something. It’s still basically a matter of Obama getting everything he wants or walking away from the table, in which case spending authority lapses, the government “shuts down” (not really) and everyone blames Republicans.
That would happen in this case too. Any budget bill passed by Republicans that includes one cent less than Obama wants for anything at all would be portrayed by the media as “Republicans risk government shutdown over Planned Parenthood”. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t hold firm. They could. It’s just that they’d have to wage a real battle for the public’s support to overcome the rhetoric that would spew forth from Democrats and their media adjuncts. And Republicans almost never have the stomach for such battles.
The other problem has to do with the way budgets are worded. Spending authority is typically authorized for things like “women’s health services” and then the Department of Health and Human Services spends the money where it sees fit. A budget that zeroes out Planned Parenthood funding would have to expressly say that none of the money allocated for women’s health services can go to Planned Parenthood. You’d have to take away that much of HHS’s discretion through very specific wording in the budget bill. That would surely invite an Obama veto of the budget, and Republicans would have to decide if it’s worth fighting for.
Granted, that’s a hard fight to win when the president doesn’t in any way fear what’s staged as a “government shutdown.” Every time this happens, he manipulates its execution to garner sympathy for his position, then sits back and watches as Republicans take the heat and he takes none. To the extent that a “shutdown” really does hurt anyone, Obama cares not at all. He only cares that he wins the news cycle whenever it happens.
But even having said all this, the only reason the political dynamic of budgeting has gotten to this point is that Republicans have been so ineffective at the politics. Constitutionally, there is no reason a president being told no by Congress means the government shuts down. It only happens this way in practice because Obama is a petulant bore who takes his ball and goes home if he doesn’t get his way, and Republicans have no idea what to do when that happens.
If Congress functioned as it should, nothing Republicans oppose could get a dime of funding, and Obama would have to accept that his party lost the mid-term elections and as such he doesn’t get to govern the way he did in 2009-2010. And if things worked that way, Planned Parenthood would have no hope of being included in next year’s budget. No filibuster could change that. And a presidential veto could not automatically fund Planned Parenthood. It could only stop the passage of the entire budget that left Planned Parenthood out, meaning nothing gets funded at all.
But we’ve strayed so far from the way the federal government is supposed to work that a monstrous organization that murders children and sells their body parts on the open market gets funding automatically, and even a majority of both houses that wants to put a stop to this can’t do it. And until we find some Republicans who are willing to stand up and say no more of this – and they are actually put in a position to make that mean something – this will continue in perpetuity.
Dan just served as editor of a fantastic book by Katherine Jeffries about a secret vigilante organization. It’s called Stranglehold and you can download it here. Dan’s Royal Oak Series of spiritual thrillers is available here. Follow all of Dan’s work by liking his page on Facebook.

Politics: Filibuster kills Planned Parenthood de-funding bill, but here’s a question

My comments:  The author of this article asks why not just zero out Planned Parenthood from next year’s budget.  The author assumes that funding Planned Parenthood and all the other insane things funded with our tax dollars is Constitutional.  IT IS NOT.  Not a single one of these criminals in our Congress is paying attention to their oaths to uphold the Constitution.  If they were, they’d have to vote against anything outside of what is listed in the Constitution which they have a right to fund.

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”  Article I, Section 8, Clause 1

General welfare of the United States does not constitute funding of the murder of infants in their mothers wombs (and outside the womb) and money making sales of those infants’ bodies.  The illegal spending by Congress covers 99% of the unconstitutional spending of our tax dollars.

BY DAN CALABRESE FOR CAINTV.COM

pp

Why not just decline to fund it in next year’s budget?

You’ve heard by now that Democrats held together in a filibuster against the Senate bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. Only two Democrats – Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana – voted for cloture. Only two Republicans voted against it, and Illinois’s Mark Kirk was the only one who was really in opposition. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as much as we are not a fan of his, did so only for procedural purposes so he would have the right to bring it up again in the future.

So as much as many of us had hoped the horrific videos put out recently by the Center for Medical Progress might bring more Democrats into the de-funding fold, it seems clear in retrospect that this was always a long shot. Democrats are wed to Planned Parenthood more firmly than many of them probably are to their own spouses, and they’re not going to let a little thing like baby body part trafficking get in the way of the gravy train.

I would like to ask a question, though: Why do you need to pass a bill to not fund something? Shouldn’t the opportunity for any organization to receive federal funds require an affirmative vote of the Congress? As it stands now, Planned Parenthood funding is presumed to be in the budget forever absent an expressly specific vote that bans it. Why should this be? Why, in an era when Republicans control both houses of Congress, should something so anathema to the thinking of Republicans be guaranteed ongoing funding absent an extraordinary effort to de-fund it?

In theory, at least, it isn’t. The Republican majority could pass a budget next year that zeroes out Planned Parenthood’s funding. And because budgets are not subject to the filibuster, there are not enough Democrats in the Senate to do anything about it. All the Republicans would have to do is hold firm and refuse to send any budget bill to President Obama that includes a dime for Planned Parenthood, and whammo, Planned Parenthood is de-funded.

Now, let’s be clear-eyed about the political machinations that have changed the nature of budgeting and made this harder to achieve than I just made it sound.

We’ll start with the fact that it’s still a battle just to pass a real budget. Democrats stopped even trying to pass real budgets in 2010 because they wanted to hide the fact that the $862 billion “emergency stimulus” of 2009 was going to become part of the permanent budget baseline. And it worked. The media didn’t think it was a story that Congress no longer passed real budgets, nor did they think it was a story that this “one-time” spending blowout wasn’t one time at all. It was every time, forever, because that’s how the federal government does things. Especially when Democrats are in charge.

When Republicans re-took the Senate in 2014, having already taken the House back in 2010, they vowed to return to real budgets. But we’ve hardly seen a return to what we understand as a real budget process, in which Congress submits a budget to the president, they haggle over details and they ultimately negotiate an agreement and pass something. It’s still basically a matter of Obama getting everything he wants or walking away from the table, in which case spending authority lapses, the government “shuts down” (not really) and everyone blames Republicans.

That would happen in this case too. Any budget bill passed by Republicans that includes one cent less than Obama wants for anything at all would be portrayed by the media as “Republicans risk government shutdown over Planned Parenthood”. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t hold firm. They could. It’s just that they’d have to wage a real battle for the public’s support to overcome the rhetoric that would spew forth from Democrats and their media adjuncts. And Republicans almost never have the stomach for such battles.

The other problem has to do with the way budgets are worded. Spending authority is typically authorized for things like “women’s health services” and then the Department of Health and Human Services spends the money where it sees fit. A budget that zeroes out Planned Parenthood funding would have to expressly say that none of the money allocated for women’s health services can go to Planned Parenthood. You’d have to take away that much of HHS’s discretion through very specific wording in the budget bill. That would surely invite an Obama veto of the budget, and Republicans would have to decide if it’s worth fighting for.

Granted, that’s a hard fight to win when the president doesn’t in any way fear what’s staged as a “government shutdown.” Every time this happens, he manipulates its execution to garner sympathy for his position, then sits back and watches as Republicans take the heat and he takes none. To the extent that a “shutdown” really does hurt anyone, Obama cares not at all. He only cares that he wins the news cycle whenever it happens.

But even having said all this, the only reason the political dynamic of budgeting has gotten to this point is that Republicans have been so ineffective at the politics. Constitutionally, there is no reason a president being told no by Congress means the government shuts down. It only happens this way in practice because Obama is a petulant bore who takes his ball and goes home if he doesn’t get his way, and Republicans have no idea what to do when that happens.

If Congress functioned as it should, nothing Republicans oppose could get a dime of funding, and Obama would have to accept that his party lost the mid-term elections and as such he doesn’t get to govern the way he did in 2009-2010. And if things worked that way, Planned Parenthood would have no hope of being included in next year’s budget. No filibuster could change that. And a presidential veto could not automatically fund Planned Parenthood. It could only stop the passage of the entire budget that left Planned Parenthood out, meaning nothing gets funded at all.

But we’ve strayed so far from the way the federal government is supposed to work that a monstrous organization that murders children and sells their body parts on the open market gets funding automatically, and even a majority of both houses that wants to put a stop to this can’t do it. And until we find some Republicans who are willing to stand up and say no more of this – and they are actually put in a position to make that mean something – this will continue in perpetuity.

Dan just served as editor of a fantastic book by Katherine Jeffries about a secret vigilante organization. It’s called Stranglehold and you can download it here. Dan’s Royal Oak Series of spiritual thrillers is available here. Follow all of Dan’s work by liking his page on Facebook.

Rep Louie Gohmert – Anti-Military Obstructionist John McCain Refused To Sponsor House Bill To Arm Military

By Rick Wells for CONSTITUTION RISING.COM
GOHMERT
In what is clearly a preemptive excuse designed to cover his backside following the murder of five service members in Chattanooga, John McCain issued a statement saying, “long before the Chattanooga attack, we had been working to clarify a post commander’s authority to allow carrying of personal firearms.” Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is asked, “Why didn’t the Pentagon act on this long ago?”
He speaks to John McCain specifically, saying, “John McCain is a war hero for what he suffered during the Vietnam War, but he’s certainly no hero for what he’s been stopping. We couldn’t find a single senator that would bring the same amendment [to arm military personnel]. We got it as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate is now negotiating with the House on that final bill. They would not, not one single Senator would bring that amendment to the Senate floor, John McCain didn’t want it.”
He adds, “So I am thrilled that John McCain is at least verbalizing that he wants to allow our military to protect themselves. That has not been his position in the past.” They also address a tweet from a viewer which addresses the fact that John McCain twice voted against body armor as well.
Gohmert points out other legislative attempts to correct vulnerabilities that have been made by the House, which have failed to pass in the Senate. He says, “We just need John McCain to match his words with his acts. He also points out that the perpetrator of the shootings in Chattanooga was the type of individual, particularly with his travel records, that the Patriot Act was supposed to protect us from. He says, “Instead, they spend so much time going after every America that they haven’t had time to watch the real suspects.”
He also has a common sense rebuttal to the argument that there are some in the military that shouldn’t be armed, saying those are the ones who should be processed out, so that we then know we can trust our men and women in uniform, all of them.
Gohmert’s comments once again point to the efforts of John McCain in opposition to the American military men and women he supposedly is an advocate for. Perhaps the shiny paper that John McCain has been wrapped in is starting to lose its luster.
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZjcmLTtOOjA

Image

Complicit – TPA, TPP

Thanks to, and reposted from  TERRELLAFTERMATH.COM

boehner

7 Homosexual U.S. Ambassadors: Trade Deals Should Advance LGBTI Rights

By Patrick Goodenough for CNS NEWS

gaySix openly gay U.S. ambassadors meet in Washington in March 2015. They are, from left, Ambassador to Australia John Berry, Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James Brewster, Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford, Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Daniel Baer, Ambassador to Spain James Costos, and Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius (Photo: Blake Bergen/Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies)

(CNSNews.com) – International free-trade agreements like those being negotiated with countries in the Pacific and Europe should help to export American values such as human rights, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, according to seven openly homosexual U.S. ambassadors.

The seven, joined by the State Department’s first “special envoy for LGBTI persons,” Randy Berry, signed a joint letter published Tuesday in the national gay and lesbian news magazine The Advocate, and re-posted by the White House.

“Through the President’s trade agenda, we will not only support more American jobs, but we can also promote greater justice beyond our borders,” they wrote.

“We are committed to working closely with the White House to ensure that any trade arrangement approved by Congress is a force for progress on human rights for everyone, including for LGBTI persons.”

The letter comes as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a contentious piece of legislation known as trade promotion authority, giving the president “fast track” authority to negotiate trade deals. The Senate passed it by a 62-37 vote last month. The administration has been lobbying hard to win support, especially from Democrats worried about the potential impact on workers and wages.

“With America’s interests and values on the line, we hope Congress passes trade promotion authority without delay,” the diplomats wrote.

The seven joining Berry are Ambassador to Dominican Republic James Brewster, Ambassador to Spain James Costos, Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford, Ambassador to Australia John Berry, Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Daniel Baer, and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman.

“Many of us are currently working in our host countries to promote new trade initiatives, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP),” they said.

“In speaking about these agreements, we often use the word ‘values.’ We promote transparency, public participation, accountability and the rule of law, and we advocate for our host countries to join us in setting the global standard.

“As the seven openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex U.S. Ambassadors and the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, this approach is particularly important to us.”

The U.S. is negotiating the TPP with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam), and the TTIP with the 28-member European Union.

The diplomats who signed the letter said that “LGBTI persons” continue to face challenges in countries around the world.

They did not name any countries, but of the TPP partners, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei outlaw same-sex sexual acts, according to data compiled by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

In Malaysia, anyone convicted of “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” can be imprisoned for up to 20 years, and also be flogged.

In Singapore, a male who commits “any act of gross indecency with another male person” can be jailed for up to two years.

Brunei punishes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal” with a prison term of up to 10 years, plus a fine.

Moreover, Brunei is scheduled to introduce the death penalty for certain same-sex activity by next year – as part of a roll-out of a controversial shari’a-based legal code – although ILGA said in a report last month that it “seems unlikely to be implemented in actuality.”

(According to ILGA data, same-sex sexual acts are illegal in 76 countries. In five – Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen – the death penalty is implemented for same-sex activity, along with some provinces in Somalia and Nigeria.)

“Done right, trade policy is a strong complement to our broader bilateral efforts to urge partner countries to defend and protect the human rights of all individuals,” the diplomats wrote.

“In many ways, the two issues go together: open markets promote development, raise wages, and increase living standards, which in turn goes hand-in-hand with more open and engaged societies that demand a higher standard of protection for civil rights.”

The signatories said they were proud to be part of an administration “deeply committed” to advancing the human rights of LGBTI people, citing President Obama’s recent comment – in a statement marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – that “all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.”

The administration has made the issue a foreign policy priority, and at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva it co-sponsored in 2011 the first-ever resolution adopted by the U.N. on the human rights of LGBT people.

Delivering a keynote Human Rights Day-themed speech in Geneva six months later, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton focused on LGBT rights, calling the issue “one of the remaining human rights challenges of our times.”

Clinton in that speech said that failure to uphold the human rights of homosexuals and lesbians could not be justified by citing religious or cultural values.