Norton Blasts Cruz for Filing Amendment to Senate D.C. Appropriations Bill to Block D.C.’s Individual Health Insurance Mandate
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today blasted Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for filing an anti-democratic amendment on the floor to the Senate’s fiscal year 2019 District of Columbia Appropriations bill to prohibit the District from using its local funds to carry out the Health Insurance Requirement Amendment Act of 2018, which requires D.C. residents to have health insurance and is modeled on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate. Three states (Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont) have passed individual mandate laws similar to the District’s. The House last week passed an identical amendment, offered by Representative Gary Palmer (R-PA), and ultimately passed its version of the fiscal year 2019 D.C. Appropriations bill.
“Senator Cruz needs to do more for Texas,” Norton said. “Instead, he is stealing precious time and effort from his Texas constituents to abuse congressional power by interfering with the affairs of another Member’s district. As the main proponent of repealing the Affordable Care Act and stripping health insurance from millions of Americans, he cannot bear to see health care be offered even at the local level. Unfortunately for him, the ACA is more popular than ever nationwide, and we will beat his attempts to take out D.C.’s local version.”
Cruz has been a serial abuser of D.C. home rule, and he has repeatedly failed. He has twice introduced a bill to radically alter the District’s local education system by forcing D.C. to steer its local funds away from D.C. Public Schools and public charter schools to vouchers for any student who chooses to attend private schools. The bill also would have forced D.C. to use its local funds to pay for other educational expenses such as private online classes. Last Congress, ahead of announcing his presidential bid, he introduced disapproval resolutions to nullify two D.C. anti-discrimination laws, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act.