Could More Autonomy Be Coming For D.C.?
||Washington Examiner (DC)
||Thursday, May 12, 2011
A House of Representatives hearing on the D.C. budget announced with an ominous reference to the federal control board seemed more focused on giving the District greater freedom when it came time for questions Thursday morning.
California Republican Darrell Issa, who heads the House oversight committee, ended the committee's questioning of Mayor Vince Gray and council Chairman Kwame Brown by floating the idea of creating a process for D.C.'s government to remain open when congressional budget discussions break down and the federal government shuts down.
"When you look at your budget, if we allowed for the city to be disconnected from what may or may not happen in a budget battle... are you able to give us a contingent budget that shows for x period of time you are prepared to provided all services of the federal city," Issa asked Gray.
Gray said it could be done, and went further with a plea for full budget autonomy.
"Many of our services, as you know, are completely funded with local dollars and we'd be prepared to do that with budget autonomy," Gray said. "We've had balanced budgets, we've had clean audits and demonstrated our ability to mange our finances in a very prudent manor."