Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Media Source: 
Associated Press News Service (AP)
Ben Nuckols

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Voters in the nation's capital have approved a charter amendment that allows the city to spend local tax dollars without congressional approval.

District of Columbia leaders have long argued that they should have what they call budget autonomy. That way, the city government wouldn't stop functioning in the event of a federal shutdown.

Unofficial results show that voters approved the amendment Tuesday with 83 percent of the vote. It would become law unless Congress passes a disapproval resolution and President Barack Obama signs it.

But some city leaders aren't sure the effort to give themselves more independence will work. The district's attorney general has said he doesn't think the amendment is legal because it takes power away from Congress. It could be challenged in court.