Norton’s Fight to Protect D.C. Budget Autonomy Law Bolstered by Court Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said her defense of the District of Columbia’s Local Budget Autonomy Act (BAA) got a boost against the pending fourth attempt by Republicans to repeal the BAA, after a federal district court judge in the District yesterday dismissed the only pending lawsuit challenging the legality of the BAA. The BAA, approved by D.C. voters in a 2013 referendum, permits the District to spend its local funds without congressional approval. The pending House fiscal year 2019 D.C. Appropriations bill contains the House’s fourth repeal of the BAA.
“Republicans never tire of interfering in the District of Columbia’s local affairs, even as we continue to defeat their efforts,” Norton said. “Now that the courts have spoken, leaving budget autonomy intact, why wouldn’t Republicans support budget autonomy, particularly in light of the long-professed Republican ideology of exclusive local control over local matters in our federal republic?”
Since the D.C. Superior Court upheld the BAA in March 2016 in a separate lawsuit, the House has passed three bills that would have repealed the BAA. Norton has prevented the Senate from taking them up. While the BAA remains law, Congress continues to abuse its authority over D.C. by appropriating D.C.’s local funds as if the BAA does not exist.
The court yesterday found that the plaintiff lacked standing to challenge the BAA.