Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will offer an amendment today at 3:00p.m. in room H-313 of the Capitol during the Rules Committee meeting on H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and will again urge adoption of her amendment to allow the District to continue spending its local funds if the federal government shuts down. The amendment would strike Section 309 of the bill, which seeks to permanently prevent D.C. from spending its local taxpayer-raised funds to provide abortions for low-income residents. Norton said, "House Republicans are now seeking to make permanent the ban on the District's use of its local funds for abortions for low-income women--a new and expanded way to deny our residents control over their local funds and democratic right to self-govern. Declaring that the District is a part of the federal government for the purpose of abortion is an unprecedented and outrageous violation of our rights. No one can deem away our citizenship rights. Unlike the appropriations riders on the District's use of its local funds, Section 309 states that the "term "Federal Government' includes the government of the District of Columbia.'"
Norton worked with Democratic allies to offer a similar amendment to remove the D.C. abortion provision during the House Judiciary Committee markup of H.R. 3, after being denied by Chairman Trent Franks (R-AZ) an opportunity to testify at a hearing on the bill, even though members of Congress are given the courtesy to testify at hearings involving their districts. n