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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton to Host Press Conference with Mayor Bowser and National Organizations to Defend D.C. Home Rule from FY 19 Appropriations Riders, Wednesday

Apr 30, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that Norton will host a press conference with District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and a coalition of national and local organizations to protect D.C.’s local laws during the upcoming fiscal year 2019 appropriations process on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 11:30 a.m., in HVC-215 (Capitol Visitor Center).  Norton turned back a record number of attacks on D.C.’s local laws this Congress with the help of a coalition of partners.

Interested media and other attendees should RSVP to: Benjamin.Fritsch@mail.house.gov

The President’s FY 19 budget has an increasing number (four) of D.C. riders: prohibiting D.C. from spending its local funds on abortion for low-income women, on commercializing recreational marijuana, on carrying out the Death with Dignity Act and on carrying out the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA).

Thus far in the 115th Congress, there have been significant attacks and threats to D.C. home rule.

Death with Dignity Act

  • The House-passed FY 18 D.C. appropriations bill would have repealed D.C.’s medical aid-in-dying law, the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), a rider filed in committee by Representative Andy Harris (R-MD).  The DWDA rider was not taken up by Senate appropriators and Norton kept it out of the FY 18 omnibus appropriations bill.
  • Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced disapproval resolutions (H.J.Res. 27/S.J.Res.4) to nullify the DWDA.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed H.J.Res. 27, but Norton kept it from going to the House floor, citing that two Members of the House Republican leadership were from states where medical aid in dying is legal.  The Senate never took up S.J.Res.4.

Gun Safety Laws

  • Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Tom Garrett (R-VA) introduced bills (S. 162/H.R. 1537) to wipe out D.C.’s local gun safety laws, including its bans on assault rifles, guns in schools and large capacity ammunition magazines, as well as its registration requirements, and prohibit D.C. from passing gun laws in the future.
  • Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a bill to force D.C. to recognize out-of-state permits to carry concealed guns, regardless of the standards those states use for issuing permits.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

  • The House-passed FY 18 D.C. appropriations bill would have prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds to carry out RHNDA.  The RHNDA rider passed on the House floor after being filed by Representative Gary Palmer (R-AL).  The RHNDA rider was never taken up by Senate appropriators and Norton kept it out of the FY 18 omnibus appropriations bill.
  • Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 2525), which, among other things, prohibits D.C. from denying benefits, contracts and the like to individuals, non-profits and for-profits that discriminate against LGBT people, as well as against people who engage in extramarital relations, based on a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.

Law on Wipes Labeling

  • During the House Appropriations Committee’s markup of the FY 18 D.C. appropriations bill, Representative Harris offered and then withdrew an amendment to block D.C. from using its local funds to carry out a D.C. law regulating the labeling of personal hygiene products, particularly wet wipes, as safe to flush.

Labor

  • Representative Steve King (R-IA) introduced the Freedom From Union Violence Act of 2017 (H.R. 4422), which, among other things, makes it a federal crime to commit violence within D.C. in connection with a legitimate labor dispute.

Education

  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Educational Freedom Accounts Act (S. 2163/H.R. 4576), which requires D.C. to spend its local funds for students to attend private schools and for other educational expenses.

Marijuana

  • The FY 18 omnibus appropriations bill prohibits D.C. from spending its local funds on regulating and commercializing recreational marijuana.
  • The D.C. marijuana rider has been included in D.C.’s enacted appropriations bill since 2014.  The rider was originally filed by Representative Harris.

Abortion

  • The FY 18 omnibus appropriations bill prohibits D.C. from spending its local funds on abortions for low-income women, a perennial rider that has been included in every enacted D.C. appropriations bill since 2011, after Republicans took control of the House.
  • Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced bills (S. 184/H.R. 7) to, among other things, permanently prohibit the D.C. government from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women, prohibit D.C. government employees from providing abortions, prohibit abortions in D.C. government facilities, and define the D.C. government as part of the federal government for purposes of abortion.  H.R. 7 passed the House.

Budget Autonomy

  • The House-passed FY 18 D.C. appropriations bill would have repealed D.C.’s budget autonomy referendum, but Norton prevented that rider from being taken up by the Senate Appropriations Committee or included in the FY 18 omnibus appropriations bill.

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