DC fighting to prevent Congress from interfering with local laws - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC fighting to prevent Congress from interfering with local laws

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D.C. leaders are once again telling Congress to stay out of its affairs.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray held a press conference on Capitol Hill to talk about several appropriations riders being introduced by members of Congress.

Norton said, "We are not mere prey for the school yard bullies of the Congress.”

Leaders believe some members of Congress are trying to interfere with current D.C. laws having to do with gun safety, reproductive rights and a needle exchange program in place to prevent the transmission of HIV.

Norton issued the following appropriation riders her office is currently fighting:

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) reintroduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7/S. 946), which would, among other things, make permanent law the annual rider that prohibits the District from spending its local funds on abortions for low-income women. This bill passed the House last Congress, but was not taken up in the Senate.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) reintroduced his bill, which has 32 cosponsors, to ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columba, after filing an amendment to the Senate budget resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should pass such a bill. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) reintroduced his companion D.C. abortion ban bill, which was defeated on the House floor last Congress, but has since expanded it to a nationwide ban, which is a victory for home rule but not for reproductive choice.

Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) introduced a resolution (H.RES.40) expressing the sense of the House that active duty military personnel in D.C. should be exempt from D.C.'s gun laws, but not those of any other jurisdiction. Last Congress, the resolution was included in the House version of the fiscal year 2013 Defense Authorization bill, but Norton got the provision removed from the version signed into law.

The focus of the press conference will be protecting D.C.'s laws on gun safety, needle exchange, and reproductive rights, and alerting members of the House and Senate to these issues.

Other groups that will be in attendance include the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the National Abortion Federation, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, the Black Women's Health Imperative, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the Center for American Progress.

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