Congressional hearings in Washington are a fixture and are allegedly a instrument for the nation’s legislative body to investigate.
Unfortunately, it is not the case too often when Democrats are in control. Instead of hearings being a means of searching for facts and data, they become merely a platform for majority party leaders to politicize and a forum for attacking those whose opinions they do not like.
This distortion of process was in full view at recent House Budget Committee hearings on Poverty in America: Economic Realities of Struggling Families.
Of eight witnesses, six were from the same left-wing organization – the Poor People’s Campaign.
The other two were members of the national clergy network of my organization CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education: Pastor Latasha Fields, founder of Christian Home Educators’ Support System, and Pastor David Mahan, founder of Frontline Youth Communications.
A member of the commission and one of three Muslims in Congress, Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, appeared at the hearing not in search of facts but with her already defined, prefabricated world view. She used all her time to pontify and ridicule the two Christian pastors of CURE instead of asking questions.
Omar was of zero concern in the notable tales shared by these two pastors about growing impoverished in fractured societies and beating the odds through fight and faith. They weren’t saying what she intended to hear.
Pastor Mahan summarized his formula for what worked, stating, “Personal responsibility, powerful weddings and families, and active belief in Christ Jesus…. Government programs will only demonstrate successful to the extent that they complement, without supplanting, these main factors.”
Pastor Fields talked about her determination as a young woman to not become part of the drugs, crime and despair in the community that surrounded her where she grew up, in Baton Rouge.
She shared the devastation she experienced after becoming pregnant at age 17 and withstanding the pressure from those around her who told her to abort the child.
“I had a big decision to make,” she said. “Do I get rid of my baby and proceed as normal as though nothing happened …? Or do I live the rest of my life knowing I had killed my baby?”
Mahan and Fields conveyed how they rejected abortion, how they married, struggled, homeschooled their children and are now proud parents of children with university degrees.
Rather than holding up Fields’ story of faith and courage as a shining example of what works, Omar mocked her.
What kind of conversations do we get to have, according to her? “The kind of systematic barriers that exist in prosperity – that’s the conversation we should be having,” she said.
Congresswoman Omar is blinded by hate for the nation to which she had the privilege of immigrating. She is blinded by the distortions of the statist ideology that, despite years of experience and tens of trillions in government expenditures to the contrary, she chooses to believe will improve impoverished lives.