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Public Statements

Budget Autonomy for District of Columbia Amidst Threat of Government Shutdown

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. JACKSON LEE. I was in my office, Congresswoman, and I could not help but both agree and hear you.

I wanted to come just to applaud you for, first of all, restoring and educating this House on the issues of federalism, local control, and also of reintroducing them to Washington, D.C., which gained local control and gained the right to elect its local officials. Also--maybe most people don't know--it has an operational budget that is balanced and that, in actuality, could continue to run its services for its people, as the Congresswoman has indicated, but for the pass-through that is required here in the House of Representatives.

I simply wanted to come and applaud you and say a government shutdown is for naught. It is not good for anyone, and it is shameful that it is tied to the defunding of ObamaCare when the millions of Washingtonians, who are here, who dutifully provide for this House and this Senate and all of those who come in and out of Washington, D.C., the millions of tourists, the international guests, that we would dare tell them, without a vote, without a voice, in terms of the voting voice, to say not only are we shutting down the government that is going to hurt all of America, we're going to shut you down and you're in local control with your own monies, ready to run, ready to help, ready to provide for the safety and security of the comings and goings of those who work in the Federal Government in the House of Representatives.

So I could not miss the opportunity to again reinforce my commitment to the legitimacy of Washington, its right to a voting representative in both the House and the Senate, and, as well, the fact that you make a very potent argument, because in many of our jurisdictions, city government may still be operating. Of course, many people will be hurt--Social Security, the military, veterans, the soldiers' families who don't get a paycheck. What the Congresswoman is saying, and I want to add to that, insult to injury coming from this shutdown is the fact that a whole city would not be able to operate the Nation's Capital where people are now heading to by airplane for whatever visits they may have--tourists, international guests.

I just met with an international leader today. They will all be coming to a city that will literally be shut down because my Republican friends want to defund ObamaCare and don't have the respect to give you the waiver, the position that you have asked for to make sure that Washington, D.C., runs.

I thank you for alarming us. I hope that as we enter into our discussions tomorrow that we will raise this issue and that those of good common sense will come to their senses not only for the people of the District of Columbia in hearing your plea, but they'll come to their senses for the American people and keep this government running.


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