Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Media Source: 
Washington Post (DC)
Aaron C. Davis

When the D.C. Council and mayor defied Congress last week and appropriated $7 billion in local tax money, it was unclear whether anyone on Capitol Hill would notice the somewhat symbolic revolt.

They did.

Ahead of a House Appropriations Committee vote Wednesday on the District’s budget — including federal decisions involving the same $7 billion — congressional lawyers inserted a paragraph that makes clear Congress still believes it decides how the local tax revenue is spent, not D.C. lawmakers.

The development in the District’s “budget autonomy” fight appeared certain to complicate the efforts of the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D). Both have asserted that a voter-approved measure in 2013 gave the city power to restructure its budget process and insulate the District from the whims of federal lawmakers from conservative states regarding how the bulk of its tax money is spent.