13 Love Letters

Last week in a particularly shameful moment for Congress, the House of Representatives voted to overturn a law passed by the Council of the District of Columbia that would prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on health care decisions. Under the Constitution and even the Home Rule Charter Congress has the right to do this but it does not mean that it’s the right thing to do. For a Congress run by those who champion the phrase ‘local control over local affairs’ the vote to overturn the District local law by the House of Representatives was a clear violation of the spirit of that phrase and the ideology behind it.

There were two positive outcomes from that vote: 1) It meant nothing because the Senate won’t take up the disapproval resolution and the President promised to veto it if it got to his desk; and 2) thirteen Republicans voted against the disapproval resolution and thus voted with the District of Columbia. This doesn’t mean we have 13 new GOP statehood supporters but it does present us with an opportunity to make new friends in the GOP which has been rather difficult in the past. So while drafting ‘love letters’ to these 13 GOPers is a bit overboard it’s probably a good idea for as many of us as possible to send them a brief note of thanks. The House will be in GOP hands for the foreseeable future so if we’re serious about being a state we need to be serious about making GOP friends. It’s kind of hokie but a thank you note is a nice gesture that will hopefully be appreciated.

Below is a list of House Republicans who voted against the disapproval resolution and with the District as well as contact information for their Legislative Directors (LD). If you have 10 minutes send these 13 members of Congress a thank you note for standing with the District on this vote.

  1. Coffman, Mike (CO-8);  LD: Dina Ellis (dina.ellis@mail.house.gov)
  2. Costello, Ryan (PA-6); LD: Dante Cutrona (danete.cutrona@mail.house.gov)
  3. Curbelo, Carlos (FL-26); LD: Adam Wolf (adam.wolf@mail.house.gov)
  4. Dent, Charlie (PA-15); LD: Andrea Uckele (andrea.uckele@mail.house.gov)
  5. Dold, Robert (IL-10); LD: David Stern (david.stern@mail.house.gov)
  6. Gibson, Chris (NY-19); LD: Rebecca Shaw (rebecca.shaw@mail.house.gov)
  7. Hanna, Richard (NY-22); Leg. Counsel: Robert Wagener (robert.wagener@mail.house.gov)
  8. Jolly, David (FL-13); LD: Jenifer Nawrocki (jenifer.nawrocki@mail.house.gov)
  9. Katko, John (NY-24); LD: Zach Howell (zach.howell@mail.house.gov)
  10. McSally, Martha (AZ-8); Chief of Staff: Justin Roth (justin.roth@mail.house.gov)
  11. Meehan, Pat (PA-7); LD: Michael Kirlin (Michael.kirlin@mail.house.gov)
  12. Reed, Tom (NY-23); LD: Drew Wayne (drew.wayne@mail.house.gov)
  13. Stefanik, Elise (NY-21); LD: Chris Perry (chris.perry@mail.house.gov)

Let’s thank those who stood with the District (Democrats too) and voted against HJRes43 because it’s the right thing to do and maybe it helps us gain a few friends for larger battles down the road.

Josh Burch

Brookland, DC

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