After Republicans took back the House in November, I predicted three ways in which the new majority would try to interfere with the District, based largely on what Republican majorities did in the 1990s: prohibiting local funding for abortion services and needle-exchange programs, and bringing back a school-voucher system. This weekend, Republicans were able to secure two of these goals as rider amendments to the budget deal that avoided a shutdown late Friday night. The third is still on the table.
Not to be outdone by all the draconian anti-abortion laws being passed in states like South Dakota, the Idaho legislature has jumped on the Fetal Pain bandwagon and passed a law restricting abortion at 20 weeks. But they've added a twist of their own: No exceptions for rape or incest.
Although Republicans, and particularly the Tea Party, preach the virtues of local governance, free from federal overreach, they never seem to be speaking with Washington, D.C., in mind. One of the budget riders currently attached to the House budget would extend the Hyde Amendment to D.C., preventing the District from putting locally raised funds toward abortion coverage for women on Medicaid.
At Newsweek, Jesse Ellisonhas a harrowing story on sexual assault against men in the military. I highly recommend the whole thing, but I found these tidbits particularly interesting:
[I]t is the high victimization rate of female soldiers—women in the armed forces are now more likely to be assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in combat—that has helped cast light on men assaulting other men. For most of military history, there was neither a system nor language in place to deal with incidents of soldier-on-soldier sexual assault…
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has a plan to save the state’s cash-strapped Medicaid program: Charge $50 to obese people on the plan who fail to make improvements under a weight-loss regimen, and smokers. The proposal is a nice case study in conservative policy-making. ViaThe Wall Street Journal: