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Obama Administration Reaffirms Support for D.C. Home Rule the Day After Budget Autonomy Bill Delayed

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that the Obama administration's reaffirmation of its support for preventing the District of Columbia government from facing shutdowns over unrelated federal spending fights, as well as its opposition to the D.C. abortion rider, is invaluable to the city's ongoing appropriations struggle this year. The Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) released today on the House version of the fiscal year 2013 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill "urged" the House to include in the bill the provision in the President's fiscal year 2013 budget that would allow D.C. to spend its local funds and remain open if the federal government shuts down, saying "[a]s is true for States, vital District operations that rely solely on non-Federal funds should not be disrupted by inaction of the Federal Government." The SAP also condemns the provision in the bill that would continue to prohibit the District from spending its local funds on abortions for low-income women, saying that the provision "undermines the principle of States' rights and of District home rule." The Senate version of the bill includes the shutdown-avoidance provision and does not include the D.C. abortion rider. Norton said: "I am grateful that the president continues to push for D.C.'s right to self-government, especially the day after an unusual number of anti-home-rule amendments to the D.C. budget autonomy bill led the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to delay consideration of the bill. As the appropriations bill continues to move through Congress, we will need the president and our allies in the Senate to fight to defend home rule."

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