House Republicans are trying to block a new D.C. law that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the District, with the House Appropriations Committee passing a measure last week that would repeal the D.C. law.
In a 28-24 vote Thursday evening, the Appropriations Committee agreed to repeal the act as well as bar any funding to the city’s program for implementing it. President Trump’s proposed federal budget included a similar spending ban but did not go as far as repealing the law, which went into effect Feb. 20. The city needs $125,000 to pay for initial startup costs by Oct. 1.
City officials originally were optimistic about being able to fund the measure without federal money, but the amendment introduced by Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., would repeal it altogether. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was upset by the passage and said if anything the District will continue to advocate for statehood now.
“None of the members opposing our law were elected to represent our residents,” Bowser said. “This is not a federal issue. This is a local issue. Members of Congress who are interfering with our laws must begin to realize what they are really doing: attempting to sidestep the democratic process in order to impose their personal beliefs on 681,000 Washingtonians.”
Several states around the country have approved laws that allow certain terminally ill patients to request aid-in-dying medications from their physicians. In passing its law last year, D.C. joined California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, who also have legalized the practice. Thirteen other states are actively considering similar bills.
The D.C. law is modeled off of Oregon’s, and under it, competent, terminally ill patients who are deemed to have less than six months to live can request aid-in-dying medications from their doctors. Patients must request…