Norton Gives Spirited Defense of Budget Autonomy Referendum; Expects Repeal Bill to Go to House Floor Soon
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today at an House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) markup vigorously defended the Local Budget Autonomy Act of 2012 (BAA), a referendum ratified overwhelmingly by District of Columbia voters in 2013 to grant the District budget autonomy. The committee passed a bill to repeal the BAA on party lines, and Norton said she expects it to go to the House floor soon. Norton offered an amendment to the bill to grant D.C. budget autonomy by an act of Congress. Norton said she particularly resented that one of her Republican colleagues claimed that the District of Columbia belonged to nation during the debate on her amendment.
“Today I asked my colleagues by a congressional act to allow the District of Columbia to have authority over every penny—$7 billion of it—raised in the District of Columbia by the people of the District of Columbia,” Norton said. “I deeply resent a Member calling the District of Columbia the ‘nation’s city.’ The federal enclave belongs to the nation. There is a reason there is a difference between the ‘nation’s capital’ and the ‘District of Columbia.’ While Congress has complete authority over the District, it does not have complete authority over me because I live in the District of Columbia.”