House Speaker House John Boehner of Ohio speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, as the House returned to work from its winter recess. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner says if President Barack Obama doesn't reverse a new policy requiring religious schools and hospitals to provide employees with access to free birth control, the Congress will.
Boehner, a Catholic, said Wednesday that the rule is an attack on religious freedom in the country. The Ohio Republican, speaking on the floor, said the rule "cannot stand, and will not stand."
The speaker said the Energy and Commerce Committee will move ahead on legislation.
The issue has roiled the presidential race and angered congressional Republicans. The White House signaled this week that it is searching for ways to allay the concern of Roman Catholics who say the birth control mandate would force them to violate their religious beliefs against contraception.