Washington Mayor Vince Gray speaks with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. after a news conference about D.C. voting rights, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
President Barack Obama’s administration opposes efforts by Congress to restrict funding for needle exchange and abortions for poor women in the District of Columbia.
The administration issued a policy statement Wednesday about a D.C. appropriations bill that's headed for the House floor. The bill would bar the district from using local taxpayer dollars to fund abortions for poor women. Historically, such funding has been allowed only when Democrats have controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.
The administration said the funding restriction undermines D.C. home rule. It also said Congress should not ban federal funding for needle exchange in the District, noting that such funding is allowed elsewhere if local officials deem the programs effective.
However, Obama did not threaten to veto the spending bill over the D.C. issues.