The Blunt amendment would attach a provision to a key highway bill that would let employers opt out of a new federal health-care mandate for their employees if they have religious objections.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The controversy over access to contraception first sparked by President Obama’s health-care law is now moving to Congress.
Republicans are trying to add an amendment to a highway bill currently in the Senate that would allow employers to opt out of a new federal health-care mandate for their employees if they have religious objections. The Senate is expected to vote Thursday morning.
A recently announced rule in the health care law would have forced businesses including those affiliated to the Catholic Church to provide health-care options that included access to contraception – something the Catholic Church opposes. Mr. Obama has offered a compromise on the rule, but conservatives say it doesn't go far enough.
Senate Democrats – also with exceptions – see the issue as a war on women and a deliberate bid to obstruct passage of a long-delayed bill that would fund major construction and repair projects, affecting millions of jobs.
The issue goes to the heart of the culture wars, also roiling the GOP presidential primary.