26 More Reasons for D.C. Statehood

The argument for D.C. statehood at its core is a about the fundamental right of American citizens to have equal representation in Congress but it is also just as important for us to gain the right to be the final arbiter of our own affairs. Congress meddles in District affairs so much that it is hard to keep track of but thanks to the staff in Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton’s office we have list of the 26 bills or amendments offered in the 114th Congress (thus far) that aim to meddle in our local affairs, overturn our laws, or impose new laws upon us, all without our consent.

Reading through the list its evident that some in Congress are hellbent on using the District for grandstanding purposes and pandering to their base of supporters back home by offering such legislation. And Congress after Congress this happens because members of Congress cannot help themselves. It’s too easy for them to score cheap political points back home by picking on the District so they will continue to do this as long as we remain the disenfranchised federal district.

Please read, share, get mad, and let’s get even via D.C. statehood!

Non-Discrimination

D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act

*  Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Diane Black introduced a resolution of disapproval on the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees, their spouses and their dependents based on reproductive health decisions. The House passed the resolution.
*  The House Appropriations Committee-passed fiscal year 2016 D.C. Appropriations bill would have prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds to enforce RHNDA.  The amendment in committee was sponsored by Representative Steven Palazzo.
*  The House-passed fiscal year 2017 D.C. Appropriations bill would prohibit D.C. from spending its local funds to enforce RHNDA.  The amendment on the floor was sponsored by Representative Gary Palmer.

D.C. Human Rights Amendment Act

*  Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Vicky Hartzler introduced a resolution of disapproval on the D.C. Human Rights Amendment Act, which repeals a congressionally imposed provision that permitted schools in D.C. to deny LGBT students equal access to school facilities and services.

First Amendment Defense Act

·        Senator Mike Lee and Representative Raúl Labrador introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which would prohibit the federal government from denying benefits, contracts and the like to individuals, non-profits and for-profits that discriminate against LGBT people, as well as individuals who engage in extramarital relations, based on a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction.  The latest version, which the sponsors have publicly released but not yet introduced, applies to both the federal and District governments and defines the District government as part of the federal government.

Guns

*  Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Jim Jordan introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015, which would wipe out almost all of D.C.’s gun laws.
*  Senator Rand Paul introduced an amendment to the Senate’s budget reconciliation bill to wipe out, among other things, D.C.’s gun laws.  The Senate voted it down.  Senator Paul subsequently introduced it as a stand-alone bill, the Defend Our Capital Act of 2015.
*  Representative David Schweikert introduced the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act, which would force D.C. to recognize out-of-state permits to carry concealed guns, regardless of the standards those states use for issuing permits.
*  Amendments filed in the Rules Committee to the House’s FY 17 D.C. Appropriations bill that were not made in order:
*  Representative Thomas Massie amendment to block D.C. from using its local funds to enforce its carry laws, allowing open and concealed carry.
*  Representative Thomas Massie amendment to block D.C. from using its local funds to enforce its enhanced penalties for carrying in gun-free zones.
*  Representative David Schweikert amendment to block D.C. from using its local funds to enforce its “good reason” requirement for carrying.

Abortion

*  Senator Roger Wicker and Representative Chris Smith introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, which would, 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.  The bill passed the House.

·        The House Appropriations Committee-passed FY 16 D.C. Appropriations bill would have prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women.

·        The FY 16 D.C. Appropriations bill signed into law prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women.

·        The House-passed FY 17 D.C. Appropriations bill would prohibit D.C. from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women.

Immigration

*  Representative Louie Gohmert introduced the Safer DC Act of 2015, which would overturn a D.C. law that limits the circumstances under which the District will cooperate with federal immigration officials, including detention and gathering and disseminating information about a person’s immigration status.

Labor

*  Representative Tom Price introduced the Federal Employee Rights Act, which would, among other things, prohibit the D.C. government from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

Education

*  Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Mark Meadows introduced the Educational Freedom Accounts Act, which would require D.C. to use its local funds to pay for K-12 private school tuition.

Marijuana

·        The House Appropriations Committee-passed FY 16 D.C. Appropriations bill would have prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds on marijuana commercialization.

·        The FY 16 D.C. Appropriations bill signed into law prohibited D.C. from spending its local funds on marijuana commercialization.

·        The House-passed FY 17 D.C. Appropriations bill prohibits D.C. from spending its local funds on marijuana commercialization.

Budget Autonomy

·        Representative Mark Meadows introduced the Clarifying Congressional Intent in Providing for DC Home Rule Act of 2016, which would repeal the budget autonomy referendum and prohibit D.C. from passing similar legislation in the future.

·        The House-passed FY 17 D.C. Appropriations bill includes the text of the Clarifying Congressional Intent in Providing for DC Home Rule Act of 2016; repeals D.C.’s FY 17 local budget; and appropriates D.C.’s local funds for FY 17.

·        The Senate Appropriations Committee-passed FY 17 D.C. Appropriations bill appropriates D.C.’s local funds for FY 17.

Occupational Licensing

·        Senator Mike Lee introduced the Alternatives to Licensing that Lower Obstacles to Work Act of 2016, which would change D.C. occupational licensing rules.

Legislators from around the country have spent time, money, and effort meddling in the affairs of the people of the District of Columbia and in some cases have been successful in overturning the democratic will of the people of DC. This could not happen and would not happen if we were a state.

We must fight back against these bullies, we must let their constituents know that these members of Congress care more about the District than their district, and we must stay focused on achieving statehood. Only statehood will end this undemocratic meddling for good.  Let’s work together to end this madness and ensure our rightful place as equal partners in American democracy as the 51st state.

 

Josh Burch

Brookland, DC

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s