Norton to Introduce Legislation to Repeal Government Accountability Office’s Authority Over D.C.

Nov 29, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will introduce a bill this week to repeal the authority of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the District of Columbia. GAO, a federal agency that conducts investigations and audits for Congress, has the same authority over D.C. that is has over federal agencies. GAO’s authorizing statute defines D.C. as a federal agency. In addition, GAO’s authorizing statute and the D.C. Home Rule Act require GAO to engage in specific types of oversight of D.C.

“D.C. is not a federal agency, and it should never be treated as such,” Norton said. “D.C. already has a locally appointed auditor and inspector general, so GAO’s authority over D.C. is both redundant and offensive. GAO does not have general authority over states and cities, and therefore should not have such authority over D.C.”

In addition to introducing her bill to grant D.C. statehood, Norton has introduced bills to reduce the federal government’s control over local D.C. matters and to expand D.C. equality. This bill is the 18th Norton has introduced this Congress in her Free and Equal D.C. Series:

  1. The District of Columbia Bridges Home Rule Act (H.R. 5979) would repeal a law that makes it a crime for a person in D.C. to block a bridge connecting D.C. and Virginia.
  2. The District of Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment Home Rule Act (H.R. 5825) would give D.C. the authority to appoint all members of the Board, except when the Board is performing functions regarding an application by a foreign mission with respect to a chancery.
  3. The Flood Prevention Act (H.R. 5784) would amend the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to include D.C. in the definition of a coastal state and make the District eligible for funding and oversight for federally issued permits, facilities and actions to respond to floods and mitigate flood risk.
  4. The Commission of Fine Arts District of Columbia Home Rule Act (H.R. 5570) would remove the Commission’s authority over D.C. property and private property in D.C.
  5. The National Capital Planning Commission District of Columbia Home Rule Act (H.R. 5144) would remove the Commission’s authority over D.C. property.
  6. The District of Columbia Zoning Commission Home Rule Act (H.R. 5002) would give D.C. the authority to appoint all members of the Commission.
  7. A bill to permit the flag of the United States to be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of the Mayor of the District (H.R. 4368).
  8. The District of Columbia Clemency Home Rule Act (H.R. 4206) would give the District exclusive authority to grant clemency to offenders convicted under its local laws. 
  9. The District of Columbia Non-Discrimination Home Rule Act of 2021 (H.R. 4023) would eliminate the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to the District.
  10. The District of Columbia Federal Officials Residency Equality Act of 2021 (H.R. 3786) would require certain federal officials who serve the District to live in the District.
  11. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act District of Columbia Equality Act of 2021 (H.R. 2452) would amend both laws to make D.C. eligible for the same federal funding as  states under both laws.
  12. The District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Salary Home Rule Act (H.R. 1204) would give D.C. the authority to set the maximum salary for the D.C. CFO.
  13. The District of Columbia Parole and Supervised Release Act (H.R. 658) would give D.C. the authority to make parole and supervised release determinations for D.C. Code offenders.
  14. The District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act (H.R. 657) would give the D.C. Mayor the authority to deploy the D.C. National Guard. 
  15. The District of Columbia Police Home Rule Act (H.R. 656) would eliminate the president’s authority to federalize the D.C. police department.
  16. The District of Columbia Legislative Autonomy Act (H.R. 411) would eliminate the congressional review period for D.C. bills.
  17. The District of Columbia Prosecutor Home Rule Act of 2021 (H.R. 281) would give D.C. the authority to prosecute all crimes committed under its local laws.