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Campus Notebook: D.C. Bill Snagged in Jurisdictional Turf War

House leaders pulled legislation funding the District of Columbia from the floor last week to iron out a disagreement about which committee should oversee the repeal of the federal health insurance mandate.

The turf war focused on the “individual mandate” that Congress adopted in its major health care overhaul last year.

In addition to funding the District, the bill that was yanked from the floor also pays for the Treasury, the judiciary, the executive office of the president and other government agencies.

Crafted by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, the bill would prohibit funds from being used to implement the Affordable Care Act mandate that individuals enroll in a health insurance plan.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee objected to repealing the mandate through the appropriations process. Instead, committee leaders said that as the authorizing committee, Ways and Means should oversee the repeal, according to two Democratic sources.

A Ways and Means Committee GOP spokesman said the committee is working through the jurisdiction issues.

The bill would cut 10 percent of the federal funds allocated to the District for fiscal 2012 and would prohibit funding for abortion services.

Local leaders and activists expect lawmakers to attempt to add more social riders to the bill when it does come to the floor.

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