Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Congressman Issa's DC Autonomy Legislation

[in response to the legislation as described at sites such as WaPo and DCist.  I CC'd Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, and the DC Council]

Dear Congressman Issa,

This is with regards to your proposed legislation regarding the District of Columbia.  I'll start by saying that I support increased fiscal autonomy for DC and, in general, also support overall efforts to limit taxpayer financing of abortions.  While I'm not necessarily against abortion per se, I find agreement with you in that I am not supportive of my taxpayer dollars financing it.  I can therefore appreciate you intentions with this legislation.

However, I also believe that the abortion debate should not be fought over DC.  If it really is such an ideological battle that you wish to begin within the halls of Congress, then it is an issue that should be levied upon the entire country; not singling out but one jurisdiction.  This is akin to legislating that abortions be limited in San Francisco but readily financed in San Diego.  Such legislation must either be made at a purely national level or, barring that, left to local governance.

I am a big supporter of a smaller federal government and a stronger local government, but this legislation's efforts regarding abortion -- regardless of whether or not I agree with its intent -- is in direct contradiction to our conservative ideals.  Sure, I know that if left to its own devices: DC would otherwise continue to spend my taxpayer dollars on abortions for low-income families, and yes: I do not agree with it... but as long as it is a decision made at the local level: the decision is at the very essence of what it means to be a democracy.

I urge you to split the legislation apart: one bill for increased fiscal autonomy for DC; and if you really believe it is an issue that must be legislated in our current national situation: propose a separate bill for reducing federal taxpayer dollars across the *entire* country -- not just one small subset.

Thank you for your time.

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