McConnell: Contraceptive issue "will not go away"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called for President Obama to "back down" on his decision over contraception, implying that he will face ongoing challenges from Congress and the courts if he doesn't.

On CBS News' "Face the Nation," McConnell said the president's plan regarding insurance coverage of birth control is violating the First Amendment.

"They don't have the authority under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to tell someone in this country or some organization in this country what their religious beliefs are," McConnell told "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer

"This issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down," McConnell said.

McConnell said he expects the Senate to take up the issue as soon as possible to overturn the contraceptive rule, although his party's minority status would hamper offering up legislation.

McConnell said Republicans are also filing an amicus brief - a legal brief in support of a position - to the Supreme Court Monday challenging the president's health care law.

As for the president's contraceptive rule that mandates insurance companies provide contraception and sterilization coverage free of charge, even for employees of religious-affiliated institutions, McConnell said it violates freedom of religion.

"This is what happens when the government tries to take over health care and tries to interfere with your religious beliefs," McConnell told Schieffer. "This is about the free exercise of religion," McConnell said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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