Senate Dems blast Trump religious exemption order

Originally published in Times Union - Capitol Confidential on May 04, 2017.

As promised, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that does away with the Johnson Amendment, which limited political activity by tax-exempt religious organizations.

They are focusing on implications it would have on women’s reproductive rights, and they take a shot at their political rivals, the Republicans and Independent Democratic Conference, who together control the Senate but haven’t passed protections for women’s reproductive rights or those in the LGBT community.

Here is what they are saying:

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins:

The Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump should serve as a wake-up call to New Yorkers. This assault on our values is an affront to all New Yorkers and we need to take action against it. The Senate Republican/IDC Coalition has refused to pass any protections for women’s reproductive rights or LGBT New Yorkers, and with Trump in the White House that is simply unacceptable. This is another example of why all Democrats in the Senate must work together so we can pass legislation to resist Donald Trump and his extremist allies in Washington and here in New York.”

Senator Velmanette Montgomery said, “It is completely unacceptable the way the current administration has tried to undermine women’s access to healthcare. This executive order would be a vast overreach and undo decades of progress with the stroke of a pen. This is just one more reason why it is imperative that we pass legislation like the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act to protect the rights of women across the state. New York must continue to be a bastion of resistance to regressive federal policies.”

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