Breaking DC Update: Lee Attempts ‘Common Consent’

Senator Mike Lee of Utah, author of a resolution in the Senate (S.J. Res. 7) to veto a dangerous DC law that would give 11-year-olds responsibility for their own vaccine decisions, called for the veto measure to be passed by common consent on Tuesday afternoon.

Senator Lee: Ought to Be Parents’ Decision

“Madam President,” Senator Lee began, “the Minor Consent for Vaccination Amendment Act of 2020 is a measure adopted by the District of Columbia that would allow children 11 years old and older to consent on their own, without their parents’ knowledge or acquiescence or consent, to being vaccinated.”

Sen. Lee continued, “Now, young children don’t even necessarily know their own medical history, their own family’s medical history, or potential allergies. Nor do they have the adult judgment that’s sometimes needed to make an informed decision as to consent for a particular medical procedure or treatment, or even vaccination.”

Lee’s arguments for halting the DC law included the fundamental right of parents to make decisions for their children, concern for children’s health, respect for opposing views on vaccines, differing physical reactions to vaccines in one’s family history, and a concern that the bill “would pave the way for allowing children to consent to other types of treatment without parental knowledge down the road.”

In summing up, he declared, “These ought to be decisions that are made by parents, and certainly ought not be considered and made by children as young as 11 years old and without their parents’ consent or even their knowledge.” We soundly agree.

Had the common consent procedure passed, the resolution would have been pulled from the Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs without a vote, immediately brought to the floor for “third reading,” and considered passed. In just a few short minutes, S.J. Res. 7 would have gone from “stuck in committee” to “passed the Senate.”

Objection Raised

But the “common consent” mechanism requires that there be no objection whatsoever.

In this case, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) objected to Lee’s proposal, citing his position that the Senate should not second-guess the decisions of the DC Council. (Senator Lee later rebutted that overseeing decisions for DC is a constitutional responsibility of the Congress, as provided in Article 1 of the Constitution.)

Because of Carper’s dissent, S.J. Res. 7 was not passed by common consent. As a result, it remains in the Homeland Security Committee to await its normal course of action.

Time Is Running Out

Unfortunately, time is running out. If the resolution is not passed and signed by the president by March 18, the DC law will go into effect.

So, while children’s health and—in some extreme cases—lives hang in the balance, some in Congress are playing politics, using the measure to push for DC statehood: a political hot potato that has nothing to do with our children’s welfare.

Of Carper’s objections to passing the resolution, he raised none whatsoever that had to do with the concerning content of the DC law being opposed, perhaps because even those who want the law to stand know better than to tell a nation full of parents that they simply don’t trust you to make the right decisions for your child.

With this new development, and with appreciation to Senator Lee for so championing the effort to halt this law, it is as important as ever to make sure your lawmakers know your support for the veto resolutions, H.J. Res. 25 in the House and S.J. Res. 7 in the Senate.

At this point, Senator Lee is joined by 6 cosponsors on S.J.Res.7, while H.J.Res.25 has 16 total sponsors in the House. But much more support is needed.

This bill is bad for children and we must work together to stop it.

You can weigh in through the VoterVoice system of our friends at Home School Legal Defense Association by clicking here.

Thank you for standing with us now, as always, to defend the vital role of parents in representing their children and guarding their welfare.


Michael Ramey
Executive Director