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Posted at 05:12 PM ET, 02/16/2012

Norton criticizes Issa during contraception hearing: Watch

District Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton criticized what she felt was a one-sided discussion Thursday during a House hearing on the Obama administration’s far-reaching mandate on birth control coverage.

The witness panel at the hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif), was invited to testify on the administration’s directive that all health insurance companies must provide access to contraception. The panelists: Jewish rabbis, Catholic bishops and Baptist ministers.

The problem, Holmes said, is that all were invited by Republicans.

Referring to the absence of a Democrat-chosen panel member, Norton told Issa (R-Calif), “You are a refusing a minority witness.”

Issa said that one Democratic witness had been approved but that the second witness Democrats suggested had been rejected, according to the Associated Press. Issa moved on with the hearing, and Norton walked out, according to NBC 4.

“It’s a total rump, one-sided hearing,” Norton said after leaving.

She wasn’t the only person unhappy with the lopsided presence. Committee member Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was offended for another reason: There were no women on the panel.

“Where are the women?” Maloney asked. “When I look at this panel, I don’t see one single woman representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services.”

By  |  05:12 PM ET, 02/16/2012

 
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