Norton Thanks Cummings for Abolishing D.C. Subcommittee as She Moves to Reduce Congressional Interference in Local District Matters
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the following statement on the adoption of the rules for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which remove the District of Columbia from the jurisdiction of any of the Committee’s subcommittees and put D.C. matters in the full Committee. In the last Congress, the District was under the jurisdiction of the Committee’s Government Operations Subcommittee. At today’s Committee markup of the rules, Republicans noticed an amendment to return D.C. to the Government Operations Subcommittee, but did not offer it.
“I thank Chairman Elijah Cummings for advancing equal treatment for D.C. in the Committee’s rules this Congress, in keeping with his strong support for D.C. statehood. I am grateful that my friend has already agreed to hold the first House hearing and markup on our D.C. statehood bill since 1993.
“Congress and its committees should have no more authority over the District of Columbia government than it does over any other local or state government in the United States. Congressional authority over D.C. is undemocratic, un-American and deeply offensive to the 700,000 D.C. residents, who pay federal taxes without full representation or full home rule.
“Nevertheless, since the Home Rule Act of 1973, we have gotten Congress to remove some indicators of its authority over D.C. There are no longer committees in the House and Senate devoted exclusively to the District. There are no longer appropriations subcommittees or appropriations bills devoted exclusively to the District. Two prior Republican chairs of this Committee, Tom Davis and Darrell Issa, both of whom supported home rule, also placed the District in the full Committee. Importantly, the approval of this change by these Republican chairs highlights the bipartisan view that, to the greatest extent possible, D.C. should be treated as an independent jurisdiction.
“By placing the District in the full Committee, Chairman Cummings, like Chairmen Davis and Issa before him, has signaled that this Committee will allow the District to operate without congressional interference until we achieve statehood.”