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Video: Florida's junior senator brands the ruling an assault on "the constitutional right of religious expression."

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Marco Rubio blasts White House on religious conscience controversy

Video: Florida’s junior senator brands the ruling an assault on “the constitutional right of religious expression.”

As the furor grew over the recent Obama administration ruling regarding abortion-related services at faith-based hospitals, Florida’s freshman Republican Sen. Marco Rubio stepped up the counter-attack from Capitol Hill.

In an exclusive interview with HUMAN EVENTS before his address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington Thursday, Rubio denounced the Health and Human Services Department ruling that requires faith-based hospitals and other health providers to provide information and services related to abortion and contraception that are against their religious beliefs.

(Article continues below.)

Branding the ruling an assault on “the constitutional right of religious expression,” the senator spelled out his legislation (S. 2043) to overturn the Obama administration dictum.  He also told HUMAN EVENTS that the president “should have listened to Vice President Joe Biden,” citing published reports that Biden had urged him not to come down with the ruling that has stirred up fierce opposition among Roman Catholics as well as other faiths.  (Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley also reportedly urged Obama not to go in this direction.)

Rubio added his view that this is “the first time” an administration has clashed with faiths over matters of conscience and said if the president doesn’t change his mind on the issue, “we [Congress] will have to do it for him.”

Others weighing in with Rubio in opposition to the measure include Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bob Casey, Jr. (Penn.), and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), with Manchin agreeing to co-sponsor Rubio’s legislation.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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