Because of its unique status of being a city that isn’t in a state, Washington, DC has little control over itself. Congress can veto anything the city government does and the latest thing they decided to veto was a law that forbid employers from firing women if they use birth control. Because freedom, dontchaknow.
The House passed a joint resolution to reject the law by a 228-192 vote. All but three of the yes votes were from Republicans and all but 13 of the no votes were from Democrats.
I witnessed testimony from Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a combat veteran whose radiation exposure made it difficult to conceive a child. The Congresswoman recently gave birth; she believes in vitro fertility treatments made conception possible for her. H.J.Res. 43, if enacted, would mean a boss who disagrees with in vitro fertilization could fire an employee for getting pregnant that way.
Also on the floor last night, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dubbed H.J.Res. 43 “Hobby Lobby on steroids,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called for D.C. statehood from the house floor, and numerous Republicans defended “religious freedom.”
Pelosi is right. This goes far beyond the claim that the employers shouldn’t have to provide contraception in its group health insurance policies, this would allow them to actually fire someone for using an IUD or the pill. It now goes to the Senate and if it passes there, President Obama will not have the chance to veto it because the Constitution gives Congress control over Washington, DC, not the president.