Our Mission to Capitol Hill April 2-3

Michael Ramey, Patti Sullivan, and Sophia Ramey at the US Capitol April 3, 2024.

On April 2 and 3, I went to Capitol Hill with Parental Rights Foundation board member and Florida state coordinator Patti Sullivan to present the Parental Rights Amendment and the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act to a focused group of congressional offices. These two bills offer Congress a chance to weigh in favorably on the vital issue of parental rights.

A Different Message out of Washington

Frankly, the message we continually hear out of Washington these days is one to push parents aside and empower schools and other government agencies to have their way in shaping the life of every child. Not only does such a one-size-fits-all approach fail every individual child, but it violates the longstanding tradition of parental rights and family integrity on which our whole legal system resides.

So, we went to targeted offices with a plan to bring a different message to the fore: the message that parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children, and that the government needs to respect these rights.

The Parental Rights Amendment, introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) as House Joint Resolution 38, would enshrine these rights into the very text of the U.S. Constitution, preserving the parental role for countless generations to come.

And the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act, House Resolution 6934 introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would enshrine these rights into federal law, to preserve families in any jurisdiction controlled by the federal government. 

Cosponsoring either or both of these measures gives lawmakers an opportunity to show their support for the traditional role of parents and families in the life of a child. And adding cosponsors moves each resolution closer to the possibility of being scheduled for a committee hearing.

Now, Patti and I recognize that neither of these bills is likely to pass the current Congress. But if either is granted a hearing in its respective subcommittee, that will give pro-family lawmakers the chance to make their voices heard. 

A new message will be sounded in Washington, one that respects your parental role.

An “Easy Lift”

The Parental Rights Foundation is a bipartisan organization with support from across the political spectrum. That’s because, at heart, we all recognize our children’s need for us to protect them. Whether we vote Democrat, Republican, or Other, we dare not leave the care of our child(ren) to the government.

As one representing a bipartisan organization, I often have to be careful with my words, to keep the message centered where we all can agree. At times, it’s like walking a tightrope.

But last week, Patti and I were targeting only members of the majority party in the House, and only members from Patti’s state of Florida. That’s as close as I plan to get to naming names, but I will say we were able to tailor our message expressly to them.

As a result, Patti and I felt that our request that these lawmakers sign on to cosponsor this legislation was, as one staffer put it, “an easy lift.” We also expressed that it could aid them in the coming election, since the parental rights platform has been wildly popular for their current governor, and therefore a very safe principle for Florida political figures to get behind. And several of the staffers we met with agreed with these assertions.

Yes, we met with staffers. Members of Congress were away from DC last week for a work period in their district, an apparent “setback” that we found highly advantageous. 

Congress’s absence meant that every office we entered was more relaxed than usual, and the staffers had more time to talk with us. We were also able to meet with offices who might otherwise have been too busy to meet at all. And the people we spoke to, though not the congressmen or women themselves, are the day-to-day gatekeepers who decide what is worthy of the lawmaker’s attention and what is not.

All in all, Patti and I both felt that our time was well spent, and we are hopeful to see additional cosponsors on both measures in the weeks to come.

(For more of Patti’s take on these visits, check out our episode of the EPPiC Broadcast just released on April 9.)

For all of this, I want to thank you. It is your support that empowers us to take the message of parental rights to Congress. And your financial investment enables us to make these trips into DC to tell congressional offices how very much you love your children and should be the ones to speak up for and decide for them.

Thank you for standing with us to protect children by empowering parents as we take your message to Capitol Hill!