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Norton Already Making Plans for Next Round on Budget Autonomy

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today joined D.C. government officials in requesting that the District of Columbia Local Budget Autonomy Act (S. 2345) be withdrawn from the markup in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee scheduled for Wednesday, because of an unusual number of anti-home-rule amendments filed by Republicans. "It is not surprising that Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who for years has been the Senate leader for full and equal citizenship rights for D.C. residents, would be willing to take the historic step in trying to get his committee to vote for D.C. budget autonomy. His bill ranks second only to voting rights and statehood, both of which he has championed in Senate bills. Perhaps it should also not be surprising that some Senators seized the opportunity to try to deny D.C. residents the final say over their own local funds and laws. Today was a pristine test of principle for those who profess allegiance to local control and federalism. The tired and phony notion that the District is a colonial-like fiefdom of the Congress, whose local laws it can overturn at will, harkens back to the worst days of American history, since repudiated by the American people. Nevertheless, today's results will be helpful as we continue to chart a course to budget autonomy this Congress. We did not give up after anti-home-rule riders compelled the mayor, council chair, and me to ask Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to temporarily withdraw his budget autonomy bill last year, and considering that we have such diligent bipartisan champions in the House and Senate, we are not deterred by today's actions. We have every reason to be hopeful considering that since Chairman Issa's bill, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell ( R ) have endorsed budget autonomy for the District of Columbia. Moreover, with the President's statement in his fiscal year 2013 budget that he wants to work with Congress to pass budget autonomy, the District has leaders to work with in the administration, the Senate, and the House for budget autonomy this year."

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