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Public Statements

National Capital Security and Safety Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

NATIONAL CAPITAL SECURITY AND SAFETY ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2008)


Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, the Constitution gives Congress the ultimate legislative responsibility for the District of Columbia.

However, through enactment of the DC Home Rule Act Congress has authorized the residents of the District to elect a Mayor and City Council to be responsible for the day-to-day exercise of that authority.

I respect the intent of home rule because I think residents of Washington, DC--like residents of Colorado--should be able to govern themselves so far as consistent with the ability of the Federal Government to function.

And I think this principle of home rule for DC is made all the more important because the residents of the District are not fully represented here in Congress.

So, I have some hesitation supporting legislation that would in effect shape policies for the District of Columbia without the involvement of its elected officials.

However, I am supporting H.R. 6842 today because any flaws in its approach can be corrected as the legislative process continues and because I think it is needed in order to send a strong message to the District government to move promptly to revise its laws to reflect the recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of DC v. Heller and thus to assure that the second amendment rights of the District's residents are not infringed.

That is the purpose of this legislation--one that I support, because complying with our oath to support and defend the Constitution is the first duty of all Members of Congress.


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