Moran bill offers District a vote, but no tax powers
||Washington Times (DC)
||Thursday, June 4, 1992
Rep. Jim Moran - a vocal opponent of District statehood - yesterday
introduced a bill that would grant the city representation without taxation.
The bill proposes a constitutional amendment that would give the city two
senators and one representative with full voting privileges. It is an
often-mentioned alternative to statehood, which, if granted, would allow the
city to tax suburbanites who work in the city.
The Northern Virginia Democrat's proposal is similar to a measure Congress
passed in 1978, but failed to get the necessary ratification by 38 states.
Despite that failure, Mr. Moran said representation without statehood is the
only fair alternative.
"Maybe it's an idea whose time has come," he said.
Mr. Moran is not alone in his opposition to statehood. Many Democrats on
Capitol Hill favor granting city residents the same voice in Congress that
other Americans enjoy. But suburban representatives balk at the taxing
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who may vote in committee but not on
the House floor, predicted the Moran proposal will never survive the House
"It is not serious and will not be taken seriously by the House or the
District committee," Mrs. Norton said.
The committee approved a measure in April that would grant full statehood to
the District. The bill is awaiting a vote on the House floor.
"Even if we could get voting representation, it would fall far short of
making us equal to the citizens of Virginia" because D.C. Council
legislation and the city's annual budget still would have to be approved by
Congress, Mrs. Norton said.
Several days before that committee vote, Mr. Moran said during a luncheon
meeting at The Washington Times that he opposed statehood because of the
commuter tax. He said he was worried - and so were his constituents - that the
tax would go disproportionately toward welfare programs in the city.
"The District can be independent when its population can be
self-sufficient," Mr. Moran said during the luncheon. "Right now,
you've got a long ways to go."
District officials deem the tax a fair exchange for the services the city
provides the commuting workers while they are inside its borders.
"This bill was only put in because Mr. Moran opposes statehood and
can't live with the full, undemocratic consequences" of his position, Mrs.
Mr. Moran yesterday also criticized a bill pending before the D.C. Council
that would exempt residents from paying federal income taxes because they do
not have a vote in Congress.
"No taxation without representation - we have all heard that cry
before," Mr. Moran said earlier yesterday in a speech on the House floor.
He later criticized the council proposal as
unfair to other taxpayers around the nation, and said the District benefits
financially from the federal presence.