Norton to Continue Defending D.C. Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill After Committee Passes Disapproval Resolution

Feb 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she will continue her vigorous defense of the District of Columbia’s medical aid-in-dying bill, the Death with Dignity Act, after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR), as expected, today passed a disapproval resolution to nullify the local D.C. bill by a vote of 22-14, losing one Democratic vote, but gaining one Republican vote.  Norton thanked her many Democratic colleagues on the committee who spoke out strongly in support of the District’s local democratic rights during the committee markup, including OGR Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Representatives Lacy Clay (D-MO), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI).  Norton also expressed her gratitude to Representative Darrell Issa, (R-CA), a former OGR chairman, for voting against the disapproval resolution and supporting the District’s home rule rights.

“Unaccountable Members of Congress today abused the authoritarian power of Congress over the District to impose their views on the 650,000 American citizens living in the District of Columbia,” Norton said.  “Only the District’s local elected officials have the right to act on behalf of D.C. residents.  If this disapproval resolution goes to the House floor, the Member who represents the taxpaying American citizens residing in the District will be the only Member who will be unable to vote on the disapproval resolution to overturn a local D.C. law.  District officials and residents particularly resent the singling out of the District for unique treatment, while 24 House Republicans are from the six states where medical aid is dying is legal.  We will continue to fight this undemocratic assault on the District’s local rights and democracy as we successfully did last Congress when we prevented the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act disapproval resolution from being enacted.”