Pelosi Floor Speech in Opposition to House Republicans’ Attack on D.C. Anti-Discrimination Law

May 1, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today on the House floor in opposition to House Republicans’ resolution of disapproval to overturn the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act.  Below are the Leader’s Remarks:

“Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.  I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, the distinguished Delegate from the District of Columbia.  I thank her for her courageous, relentless, persistent, effective leadership and representation of the District of Columbia.  And I come to the floor, Madam Speaker, to ask several questions.  I think they have to be addressed to you.

“How many times have our Republican colleagues come to this floor to express their belief in reducing the role of government, of the federal government?  How many times have they come to the floor to preach their deference to states' rights and local government?  And how many times have these House Republicans thrown all of that out the window when it comes to meddling, government meddling in the reproductive choices of America's families?

“Here we are, with Republicans who disapprove of a duly passed D.C. law in order to enable businesses to fire their employees for the reproductive health decisions that they make – and not only that, not only the decisions that the employee makes, but the decisions that a spouse makes, or a dependent, a child makes, allowing employers to fire employees for using birth control or for engaging in in vitro fertilization -- an answer to the prayers of so many families -- or any other reproductive health service.  It's an outrageous intrusion into workers' personal lives.

“This is Hobby Lobby on steroids.  This is about a business firing someone, man or woman, for their private health decisions with no bearing on the workplace.  In fact, if Republicans had their way, employers would not need to cite religion at all to discriminate against employees for their reproductive decisions.  House Republicans – and I say House Republicans, Madam Speaker, because this isn't what Republicans think throughout the country – House Republicans need to recognize that personal health care choices are not your boss' business.

“A business has no right to threaten its employees for their reproductive choices or for the reproductive choices made by members of their family.  I keep saying it over and over: House Republicans have no business using this House of Representatives to enable such appalling discrimination

“I urge my colleagues to stand against this radical assault on the rights of workers and families here in D.C.  Again, how many times have we seen our House Republican colleagues come to the floor to speak of their beliefs in reducing the role of federal government?  Not so fast for the families of the District of Columbia – this doesn't mean you.  With that, I urge our colleagues to vote no on this legislation, and yield back the balance of my time.”