Norton Announces Key Victories 100 Days into 116th Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To measure progress during the first 100 days of the new House Democratic majority, the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today spelled out her achievements, including getting three bills passed in the House. Norton goes into the 116th Congress having been ranked the most effective House Democrat last Congress by the Center for Effective Lawmaking. This session, she got House Democratic leadership to restore the District of Columbia’s vote in the Committee of the Whole on the House floor. Norton was also voted chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
With Congress just beginning, Norton already has achieved historic support for D.C. statehood. On March 8, 2019, the House passed H.R. 1, a pro-democracy bill for the nation, which included extensive findings supporting D.C. statehood. It marked the first time in American history that a chamber of Congress has endorsed D.C. statehood. Every Senate Democrat is a cosponsor of the companion bill, which includes the D.C. statehood findings. In addition, Norton’s D.C. statehood bill, H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, has a record 203 House cosponsors. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have both strongly endorsed D.C. statehood and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has said he will hold a hearing and markup of H.R. 51 this year. These last three months has shown more progress to advance D.C. statehood than since the Framers created the nation’s capital.
However, to maximize the District’s equality, along with statehood efforts underway, Norton emphasizes using her two-track strategy to obtain full and complete self-government and equality for the District, which does not require statehood. As part of her Free and Equal D.C. series, Norton has already introduced eight home rule and equality bills: (1) the District of Columbia Local Prosecutor Home Rule Act (H.R. 917), (2) the District of Columbia Paperwork Reduction Act (H.R. 735), (3) the District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act (H.R. 1090), (4) the District of Columbia Home Rule Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 1408), (5) the District of Columbia Home Rule Clemency Act (H.R. 1378), (6) the District of Columbia Zoning Commission Home Rule Act (H.R. 1538), the National Capital Planning Commission District of Columbia Home Rule Act (H.R. 1797), and (8) a bill (H.R. 1318) to require the Library of Congress to install the District of Columbia seal in the Jefferson Building’s Main Reading Room.
One of Norton’s bills has already been signed into law and two other bills have passed the House. Norton’s bill that allows the District to partner with the National Park Service (NPS) to rehabilitate and maintain NPS properties in D.C. was signed into law in March. Norton’s Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, requiring federal buildings to provide designated lactation areas for nursing mothers, and her Pay Equity for All Act, to prohibit employers from asking about salary history, have both passed the House. Another of Norton’s bills, which requires the Library of Congress install the D.C. seal in the Thomas Jefferson Building along with the seals of other states, has passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
In addition to her legislative victories in the 116th, Norton secured $40 million for the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG) in fiscal year 2019, stopped all anti-home-rule riders proposed this Congress from moving forward, and convinced Chairman Cummings to abolish the D.C. subcommittee to reduce congressional interference in local District matters.
Norton has introduced the following bills:
- A bill to ban discrimination against LGBTQ jurors in local D.C. courts
- A bill to make D.C. eligible for federal flood mitigation and prevention funds
- A bill to exempt D.C. courts, CSOSA, and PDS from federal government shutdowns
- A bill to protect women from wage discrimination
- A bill to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history
- A bill to sell RFK stadium site and unused federal land to the District of Columbia
- A bill to remove the federal government’s authority over District-owned land
- A bill to ban citizenship question on the 2020 census
- A bill to rehabilitate NPS parks in D.C.
- A bill to remove the Architect of the Capitol and Director of the National Park Service from the D.C. Zoning Commission
- A bill to place the D.C. seal in the Library of Congress alongside other state seals
- A bill to protect LGBTQ residents and reproductive rights in D.C. from federal attack
- A bill to give the D.C. Mayor local authority over the D.C. National Guard
- A bill to require federal buildings to provide lactation spaces to nursing mothers
- A bill to give D.C. a local prosecutor’s office, similar to other U.S. territories
- A bill to give D.C legislative autonomy, as part of her Free and Equal D.C.
- A bill to grant back pay to low-wage federal contract workers