YOUR TAX DOLLARS, HARD AT WORK- What's in a name? Turns out plenty.
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 24-1 to drop the names
"Susan B. Anthony" and "Frederick Douglass"
from a bill that makes it illegal to perform an abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus. The bipartisan vote occurred on an amendment by John Conyers (D-Mich.), and was part of the committee's markup of the Republican-written Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. But Congress being Congress, even the lopsided vote couldn't prevent a heated exchange among committee members. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), one of the many African-Americans on the panel who strenuously objected the use of Douglass's name, offered two amendments - one that would have renamed the bill after former President Ronald Reagan, and another that would call it "The Tea Party Determines What Rights A Woman Has Act." Johnson later withdrew the amendments.
--Here is Conyers on the bill: "It is offensive that the sponsors of this bill would invoke the names of two of our nation's historic civil rights pioneers. The fact that a majority of Republican committee members voted to accept my amendment is an admission on their part that this bill never had anything to do with advancing civil rights. The bill's sponsors may give this bill any name they choose, but it will not hide the fact that it is an unconstitutional attempt to limit a woman's right to privacy."