House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Republicans are now stuck being associated with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh calling a Georgetown law student a “slut.”
Democrats have been hammering Limbaugh and Republicans since the radio host criticized Sandra Fluke, the student, for stressing the importance of birth control during a congressional hearing on President Obama’s contraceptive mandate.
On Thursday, Democrats urged House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving Boehner: ObamaCare repeal and replace 'not going to happen' MORE (R-Ohio) to publicly denounce Limbaugh’s statement.
“They won’t disassociate themselves from it. They’re tattooed with that,” Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent. “I wouldn’t want those words repeated in my office.”
In the same interview, Pelosi also went after Republicans for their opposition to the contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide contraception in their healthcare plans without a co-pay or deductible.
Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the mandate, and the White House has offered an “accommodation” for groups affiliated with religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals. Those entities do not have to provide contraception, but their employees must be able to get the contraception through the employer’s insurer.
“They don’t believe in a government role except when it comes to women exercising her conscience on an issue like that,” Pelosi said. “People who choose to marry and find comfort with each other — they decide that government should step in there. But clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — they want to end the government role.”
A day earlier, the Senate tabled legislation that would allow employers to opt out of the mandate if they oppose it on religious or moral grounds.
The White House has not deciphered how its accommodation will work in cases when the faith-based institution and the insurer are one in the same.