Thursday, April 24, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Mike DeBonis

The team of activists who devised an unusual new strategy for gaining the District government more fiscal freedom from Congress say they always knew they were in for a fight. What surprised them, they say, is who their main adversary turned out to be.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | National Journal - CongressDaily

Republicans are stepping up efforts to insert special provisions—including some that are partisan or ideological.

In a recent memo to lawmakers, House Republican leaders ticked off some of their lesser-known victories in the fiscal 2014 appropriations process. A prohibition on funding for the renovation of United Nations headquarters in New York made the list. So did a measure prohibiting the Energy Department from halting the production of incandescent light bulbs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Washington City Paper (DC) | Will Sommer

The D.C. Council's fight with Mayor Vince Gray over budget autonomy could be resolved only two weeks before the Council has to make its first vote on the mayor's budget, according to a schedule laid out today in a federal court hearing over the lawsuit filed by the Council and Chairman Phil Mendelson against Gray and Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWitt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Roll Call (DC) | Hannah Hesse

The District’s effort to decriminalize marijuana may be facing its first challenge from Congress.

In May, a House Oversight and Government Reform panel will convene for a hearing focused on the local legislation, according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. In a statement, she called it “inappropriate” to hold a hearing on the local marijuana laws of only one jurisdiction “when 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana and two states have legalized marijuana.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | DCist.com | Sarah Anne Hughes

Members of the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization bill next month, a move that could lead to it being overturned under the Home Rule Act.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold the hearing to examine possible conflicts with federal law.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | huffingtonpost.com (blog) | Ryan J. Reilly

WASHINGTON -- A Republican-led House subcommittee will hold a hearing next month to examine the District of Columbia's decision to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The decriminalization bill was passed by the D.C. Council in February and signed by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray late last month. Before the law can go into effect, Congress has 60 days to disapprove it.

Monday, April 21, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Mike DeBonis

The District government’s internal fight over its fiscal autonomy from Congress will be first heard, if not ultimately resolved, in the federal courts.

The D.C. Council filed its lawsuit last week in D.C. Superior Court, the District’s local court of general jurisdiction, putting it on a path to be ultimately decided in the D.C. Court of Appeals, the highest local court and one with a long history of resolving inter-branch disputes and interpreting the home rule charter.

Monday, April 21, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Mike DeBonis

Among the dozens of documents released Friday by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library — part of a trove of internal Clinton administration documents gradually being revealed to the public — is a fascinating piece of D.C. political history.

It is a Dec. 27, 1996, memo to Clinton, drafted by budget director Franklin D. Raines, presenting a menu of options for putting the District government on a sustainable financial footing — and, more broadly, setting the city on a path to prosperity.

Friday, April 18, 2014 | Roll Call (DC) | Hannah Hesse

Attorneys preparing to sue Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration to force compliance with the District’s budget autonomy law informed all relevant members of Congress before heading to D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.

Hours later, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called for Congress to pass legislation co-sponsored by Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, that would permit the District to spend local tax funds without congressional approval.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Washington Post (DC) | Mike DeBonis

It was probably destined to come to this: With all sides locked into conflicting positions on the validity of last year’s budget autonomy referendum, it will now be up to a judge – or, more likely, a D.C. Court of Appeals panel — to determine if the ballot measure means the city can now spend local funds without a separate congressional appropriation. D.C.

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