|Norton Thanks Issa for Pulling D.C. Bill After Call from Brown|
Norton Thanks Issa for Pulling D.C. Bill After Call from Brown
November 1, 2011
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) called Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today to thank him for pulling his bill on District of Columbia hiring practices, after D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown called and assured Issa that the city was moving forward with its own hiring reform legislation. During an affable phone conversation, Norton told Issa that she has long advised members of Congress who have concerns about local D.C. laws to speak directly with the mayor, council chair, or her regarding their concerns rather than to introduce legislation, and that she hopes that other Members will follow Issa’s example in this case of working directly with the city to address their concerns. The current House Republican majority has been less open to working with the District and instead has moved aggressively on anti-home-rule legislation. Brown also called Norton this morning after he spoke with Issa.
“Dialogue between the city and members has often yielded good results in the past,” Norton said. “While the District and Members often have different positions on policy matters, legislation to improve hiring practices does not fit that model. The city should not feel compelled to change policies that meet the needs and preferences of our residents because Members disagree. With D.C. hiring legislation already pending in the Council, however, this was a clear case that could and should be resolved without congressional intervention, and I applaud Chairman Issa and Council Chairman Brown for acting.”
Neither Norton nor the Democratic leadership on the committee had notice before yesterday that committee Republicans would issue a report on the city’s hiring practices or that Issa would introduce his bill, and Issa indicated he would have this remedied. Norton was particularly surprised by Issa’s bill because of hiring reform legislation pending before the D.C. Council, and because it is rare that legislation so quickly follows an investigative report.
Norton’s position, as well as the District’s, is, of course, that Congress should never legislate for the District or otherwise violate the District’s home rule, but the result here indicates that when concerns are not ideologically driven, resolution should be sought. Norton said she thought the District had conducted an aggressive investigation of the city’s hiring practices, and has brought forward numerous personnel and ethics bills.