Home rule

Republicans seek to strip the District of Columbia of autonomy

Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde, a member of the House Oversight Committee, leads a GOP contingent seeking to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act.

Clyde and others have criticized Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, saying crime, homelessness and open drug use are out of control in the nation’s capital.

GOP lawmakers also cited Mayor Bowser’s indoor vaccination mandate, which she has since rescinded.

“While I’m glad our intention to repeal the DC Autonomy Act has been heard loud and clear, the issues facing our nation’s capital extend far beyond medical tyranny,” said Rep. Clyde.

“Make no mistake, this was not an empty threat; legislation comes to restore the constitutional duty of Congress’s Article I, Section 8 “to exercise exclusive law in all cases, upon this district” and to properly administer the affairs of DC.

“In the near future, we will liberate Washington D.C. from the failed experiment of so-called ‘Home Rule’, and we will return our nation’s capital to the American people after the Democrats’ nearly 50-year reign of terror and the leadership failure,” Rep. Clyde continued.

But longtime Democratic District of Columbia congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton condemned Rep. Clyde’s attack.

“Rep. Clyde literally wants the feds to take over running DC as a colony,” Rep. Norton said.

“He wants to remove the limited self-government that DC’s approximately 700,000 residents, the majority of whom are minorities, have had for the past 50 years and give absolute power over DC to Congress and, presumably, the appointed trustees. Congress or the President. ”

Representative Norton continued:

“At a time when we are experiencing unprecedented success on our DC State Bill, we will keep moving forward, not backtracking. We will defeat his anti-democratic efforts.

President Richard Nixon signed into law the Home Rule Act, and the measure gives DC an elected chief executive (mayor) and a legislature (Council).

Rep. Norton pointed out that in signing the Home Rule declaration, Nixon wrote, “One of the primary purposes of this administration is to place the responsibility for local functions under local control and to provide local governments with the authority and the resources they need to serve their communities effectively.

Nixon’s statement continued:

“The measure I am signing today represents an important step in achieving that goal in the City of Washington. This will give the people of the District of Columbia the right to elect their own municipal officials and to govern themselves in local affairs.

“As the Nation approaches the 200th anniversary of its founding, it is particularly fitting to assure the people who live in our capital city of the rights and privileges long enjoyed by most of their countrymen. But the measure I am signing today does more than create a mechanism for electing local elected officials. It also expands and strengthens the structure of the city’s government to enable it to more effectively meet its responsibilities.

DC remains deprived of electoral representation in Congress and complete autonomy, which Rep. Norton called undemocratic.

“Statehood is the cure,” she said.

“Congress has the constitutional authority to grant statehood to DC. DC has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a budget larger than 12 states, has a gross domestic product greater than important than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating and federal funds constitute a smaller percentage of its budget than the percentage of total state revenues.

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Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera