Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Hartzler to Koster: Fight Obama bathroom guidelines

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Co-chair of the House Values Action Team, yesterday sent a letter to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster urging him to bring legal action against the Departments of Justice and Education for what the letter says is “the definition of extreme overreach by the federal government” and a fundamentally flawed misinterpretation of Title IX.

“This guidance not only misinterprets current law,” Hartzler stated, “it undermines states and local school boards who best know how to run their schools and care for their children. This guidance doesn’t reflect the will or values of Missourians and they shouldn’t have to stand by as their children are used as pawns in a political game.”

“I am adamantly opposed to this overreach by the Obama Administration and I am doing everything I can here in Washington to fight this intrusion on our children’s privacy,” Hartzler continued, “but individual states should also oppose this measure. Eleven other states have already taken proactive steps to assert their rights and protect their children. Missouri needs to be one of them.”

“As the elected defender of Missourians against such blatant overreach, the Attorney General should bring legal action against the federal government to correct this wrong,” Hartzler asserted. “This issue is far too urgent and important. We need action now.”

A copy of the letter to Attorney General Koster can be found here.

The Obama Administration in May sent a letter to every public school district in the country mandating restrooms, locker rooms, classes, athletic programs, housing and overnight accommodations, and other activities be based on a student’s chosen gender identity rather than his or her biological sex.

While the letter technically doesn’t have the force of law, it implicitly threatens schools that may wish to refuse with the potential of losing federal funds or becoming subject to lawsuits.

Hartzler has been a vocal opponent to this ‘guidance’ since it was released, sending a letter to the President asking him to withdraw it. In that letter, on which Hartzler was joined by House Values Action Team chairman Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) and Co-chairman Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). The three point out the Administration’s lack of legal support for the guidance and the fact that Executive Agencies do not have the authority to reinterpret federal law.

Hartzler has also been working with members of the Appropriations Committee to defund the guidance. Further, she joined Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) and 78 other members of Congress in sending a letter to the Department of Education requesting more information on how they intend to enforce the directive issued on public school bathrooms by the Obama administration. The letter also requests answers on what authority they have to issue and enforce the new order.

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