Lieberman defends D.C. on city affairs

Its sponsor, Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, has said he is committed to fashioning a new bill.

Despite momentum for D.C. budget autonomy on Capitol Hill, city officials are chagrined by a series of Republican-led efforts to alter the city’s approach to abortion.

A bill introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, would prohibit abortions in the District 20 weeks after fertilization in all cases, unless the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life or a major bodily function. It has been vetted in a House subcommittee and attracted more than 200 co-sponsors.

Rep. Justin Amash, Michigan Republican, signaled on Facebook this month he is crafting a bill that prohibits minors from obtaining abortions in the District without parental consent, forbids non-doctors from performing abortions and provides protections for individuals or health care providers that refuse to perform abortions. The bill has not been formally introduced, however.

Mr. Lieberman noted the District is an independent capital city, or “some might say a city-state.”

Congress, he said, should “reconcile” its use of oversight powers to pass laws on the District’s behalf.

“We would rant and rave if anybody tried to do it for our states,” he said. The ability to do so for the District, he added, “remains itself troublesome, but that is a power we have.”

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