D.C. budget autonomy bid in limbo on the Hill
||Washington Times (DC)
||Sunday, September 16, 2012
“They have not used the foibles of some politicians against the residents of the District,” said Mrs. Norton, a Democrat.
Mr. Gray’s spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro, said local scandals are not held against voters in other states and should not prevent the District from gaining more control over its locally raised funds.
“It’s clear we can manage our own business,” he said. “It seems like a no-brainer, and they should move it through.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Gray remains hopeful that budget autonomy, should it pass, can be a step toward fuller self-determination in the District, such as voting rights in Congress or even statehood, Mr. Ribeiro said.
A spokesman for Mr. Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said the budget autonomy measure “is not linked to representation in Congress,” and did not say when the proposal may surface again.
Mrs. Norton said that over time, measures that increase autonomy for the District have historically accelerated the push for more rights.
The District “has always gotten its rights incrementally,” she said. “This right is important in and of itself. Budget autonomy has huge practical and operational consequences.”
Taken as a whole, Republican support for budget autonomy shows a concern for fundamental fairness, but it also stresses the ability of the District to serve as the nation’s capital.
“The last thing we should do,” Mrs. Norton said, “is question their motives.”