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Compassion & Choices Joins DC Vote, National, Regional and Local Organizations to Stop Congressional Attack on D.C. Death with Dignity Act

Urge House Oversight Committee Members in AZ, CA, UT Not to Interfere with D.C. Laws

Today Compassion & Choices joined forces with DC Votes and 26 other national, regional and local groups in delivering a letter to the U.S.House of Representatives calling on Congress to respect the local autonomy of Washington DC and end the attacks on self-determination in governance.

The letter is timely because House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is scheduled to hold a vote this Monday on a bill cosponsored by 60 House members to overturn the DC Death with Dignity Act. The D.C. Council overwhelmingly voted to pass by an 11-2 margin on Nov. 15, 2016 and that was signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Dec. 19, 2016.

Ironically, three of the committee members either represent states that have authorized medical aid in dying, Rep. Darrell Issa (CA), or states that are considering legislation to authorize this end-of-life care option, Reps. Chaffetz (R-Utah) andPaul Gosar (AZ).

“As is the case with residents of your congressional districts and home states, the District’s residents should have the ability to enact local laws to address pressing local concerns” stated the letter signed by Compassion & Choices, DC Vote and the other 26 groups. “We urge you to respect local autonomy by opposing these efforts to thwart the will of the District of Columbia’s residents.”

The full letter is posted at: https://www.compassionandchoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DC-Autonomy-Letter.pdf

Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, two other attacks on DC home-rule have been introduced by several Members of Congress: bills to: (1) repeal the District’s gun violence prevention measures; (2) ban the use of the District’s local tax dollars to provide reproductive rights-related health services for low-income women. This follows on the heels of more than 25 efforts in 2016. Introduced under the guise of oversight of the District of Columbia, they are, in fact, direct attacks on the right to equal representation that should be afforded to every DC resident.