A House committee voted to overturn a new D.C. law on Tuesday night that would ban discrimination on the basis of employees’ reproductive decisions.
The rare congressional effort to turn back a local law pleased social conservatives who view the measure as a threat to religious organizationsthat operate in the nation’s capital. But it signaled a potentially perilous new chapter in partisan relations between the liberal city and its Republican overseers.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Tuesday evening to strike down a D.C. bill.
Committee members voted 20-16 to approve a disapproval resolution blocking the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act, which aims to prohibit workplace discrimination based on reproductive health decisions. Republicans, who voted to adopt the disapproval resolution, say it could force employers to violate their religious beliefs, while Democrats say it prevents employer discrimination based on private health decisions.
After months of fiery rhetoric and even a threat to jail the mayor, conservative House Republicans on Tuesday are poised to take yet another swipe at the District’s liberal leaders by trying to throw out a new law.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering legislation that would unwind two local anti-discrimination laws recently enacted by the D.C. Council. According to critics, it's just the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to weigh in on affairs in the heavily Democratic city.
Though D.C. has an elected mayor and Council, Congress has 30 legislative days to shoot down laws passed by District officials, and it's now taking aim at two newly passed laws.
For the first time in more than two decades, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is set to take up a resolution aimed at blocking a D.C. bill Tuesday, to the chagrin of the District’s congressional delegate.
At issue is the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act the D.C. Council approved in January, which aims to prohibit workplace discrimination based on reproductive health decisions. Conservatives say the act could force employers to act contrary to their religious beliefs, violating religious freedom.
Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia is a time for celebrations and reflection, but also to draw attention to D.C.’s lack of voting rights in Congress.
As public schools and local government offices closed Thursday to celebrate the 153rd anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves in D.C., Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., noted Congress was still open.
Residents raised a "DC Liberty Pole" on the National Mall Wednesday to demand political equality for the District.
D.C. residents and supporters gathered at 3rd Street on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol for a six day protest.
The 42-foot "DC Liberty Pole" placed on the National Mall is to call on Congress to pass legislation that provides D.C. residents with the same rights as residents in the other 50 states.
Supports will hold a nonstop vigil on the National Mall until April 20.
While April 15 might just be a filing deadline for most Americans, for D.C. residents, it’s a day when the words that adorn their license plates hit home.
“The slogan ‘taxation without representation’ is something you would hope had perished with the end of the Revolutionary War, but it still applies today to the 650,000 Americans who call the District of Columbia home,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement Wednesday. “We feel our status as lesser citizens especially on April 15.”
At the very deliberate time of 4:20 a.m. Wednesday, dozens of D.C. marijuana activists arrived at the Mall. They put on some music, constructed a 42-foot “liberty pole,” and chained themselves to it.
“Chained to this pole, I feel more free than I have in my memory,” said protester David Keniston. “We are living democracy right now.”
Led by the DC Cannabis Campaign, the organization that spearheaded efforts to legalize marijuana in the city, the nearly week-long vigil in which city activists decry congressional meddling into local D.C. affairs began Wednesday.
Congress has some more time to deal with two District of Columbia bills that have caused some backlash from lawmakers, but the clock is ticking.
The two bills in question are the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which the D.C. government approved in January. Some Republican lawmakers say the bills violate religious freedom and introduced disapproval resolutions in the House and Senate aimed at blocking the bills.