Norton Takes on Senate D.C. Appropriations Bill Cuts, Riders Attacking Home Rule

Nov 12, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today vowed to overcome the Senate’s fiscal year 2021 (FY21) District of Columbia Appropriations bill, released this week, which would reduce funding for the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG) by $30 million, from $40 million to just $10 million. Despite prior attempts by Republicans to cut DCTAG funding, Norton has been able to get $40 million for DCTAG each of the last four years, even with Republican control of Congress, enough to benefit thousands of D.C. students, and she anticipates similar success this year. The Senate bill also attacks D.C. home rule with riders that would prohibit D.C. from spending its local funds on abortions for low-income women and on commercializing recreational marijuana.  It also would appropriate D.C.’s local funds, preempting the Local Budget Autonomy Act. While the bill contains some provisions Norton fought to get for D.C., including $8 million for D.C. Water, $3 million for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, and an exemption for D.C. should the federal government temporarily shut down, Norton vowed to overcome the provision reducing funding for DCTAG, as she has done in the past.

“The Senate Appropriations Committee bill doubles down by trying to take even more funds from D.C. students going to college in all 50 states, but I will not let that happen,” Norton said. “It’s also long past time to permit D.C. to commercialize recreational marijuana, as mor than a dozen states have done, especially considering I was able to save D.C.’s legalization of the use of recreational marijuana, which now sends D.C. residents to illegal markets to purchase. I’ve overcome worse bills, even in Republican-controlled Congresses, and I’m already working to overcome the anti-D.C. provisions of this bill.”

The House-passed FY21 D.C. Appropriations bill would provide $40 million for DCTAG and $8 million for D.C. Water, allow D.C. to spend its local funds on abortions for low-income women and on commercializing recreational marijuana, and abide by the Local Budget Autonomy Act.