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Catania congratulates Congress for lifting domestic partnership banCOUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
David A. Catania, Councilmember, At-Large
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2001
Contact: Carl Schmid
CATANIA CONGRATULATES SENATE FOR LIFTING DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP & NEEDLE EXCHANGE LOCAL FUNDING BANS
-TODAY'S ACTION ENSURES IMPLEMENTATION OF DISTRICT'S DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP LAW -
Nearly a decade after its passage by the D.C. Council, today it appears that the Congress has finally ended its nine-year prohibition on enactment of the District of Columbia's Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992. This is truly a significant victory for the District's home rule and those District residents who can now register as domestic partners and, if they work for the District government, purchase health insurance for their partner. I am pleased that the Senate has followed the House and both have come to recognize that District elected officials should be able to determine themselves who should receive health care benefits.
I also congratulate the Senate for voting in support of District funding for a local life-saving AIDS prevention needle exchange program. Since the House version of the bill contains a local funding ban, this issue still must be resolved in Conference.
Reducing Congressional riders to the annual D.C. Appropriations bill and allowing the District to implement its own budget without Congressional prohibitions have been two of my principal priorities since my election to the Council. Throughout the year I have been meeting in Congressional offices to press our cause; in the last few days, I have visited numerous Senate offices. After years of work, I am pleased that under a bipartisan approach, together with the assistance of the Bush Administration, the District will be able to implement, more than ever before, its own budget free of Congressional interference.
In the upcoming days, I will continue to work with the House and Senate Conferees who will be charged with resolving differences between the two versions of the bill. It is my hope that a final budget bill for the District will be sent to the President for his signature in the next few days.