Sen. Rand Paul planned to offer amendments including one that would ban federal funding for abortions in D.C. to a bill that would give the District budget autonomy.
In 2007, the House was able to pass a rider-free D.C. voting rights bill after initial concern that a policy rider loosening D.C.’s gun restrictions would be included; the Senate failed to garner enough votes on a motion to proceed to consideration of the legislation.
In 2009, the Senate passed another incarnation of a bill to give D.C. a vote in Congress — with another gun provision. Unable to remove the language in the House, Democratic leadership first prevented the bill from moving to the chamber floor, then pulled the legislation once it had already been scheduled for consideration.
Though the gun policy riders are the latest hurdles for supporters of D.C. budget autonomy, stakeholders have been more concerned about the inclusion of anti-abortion language in any measure to be considered by the Republican- controlled House.
The influential National Right to Life Committee has indicated it would score any D.C. budget autonomy legislation taken up by the chamber for its anti- abortion language. Even House GOP leaders who have expressed interest in moving a D.C. budget measure have hinted that a ban on federal funding for abortions in the District would have to be part of the deal.
Spokesmen for Paul and Norton did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.