The short-term spending bill enacted in April to fund the government through the end of fiscal 2011 included a provision prohibiting local funds to pay for abortion in the District, and a mass demonstration led to 41 arrests, including the mayor and a handful of D.C. Council members.
There could be similar protests if the fiscal 2012 spending bill contains local policy riders.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is unable to vote on legislation on the House floor, but she is still likely to be vocal in her opposition to riders. On Dec. 1, she sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) asking them to use their leverage to prevent a D.C. abortion rider’s inclusion in the omnibus.
Norton spokesman Abe Rakov said today that she was continuing to work on removing the provision from the omnibus.
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.