January 31, 2017

GOP planning to override DC's limited democratic powers

Tip to DC activists: One way to react to this is to get cab drivers to do random boycotts of the Senate and House office buildings. The unpredictable unavailability of cabs is something that may even affect the Republican mind. 

Washington Post - The House committee that oversees the District plans to exercise its authority over the nation’s capital more aggressively than at any time in decades, reviewing local laws and spending decisions to ensure they are “in line with Congressional mandates and federal law.”

The plan to conduct sweeping reviews of actions by D.C. lawmakers is part of a two-year agenda published by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee is expected to adopt it Tuesday.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has been the District’s nonvoting delegate to Congress since 1991, said the proposal would have federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill taking their most active role in D.C. governance in decades.

“It speaks to almost cosmic oversight of a local jurisdiction,” Norton said.

Congress last exerted direct control over District operations in the late 1990s, when it created a federal control board to rescue the city from fiscal crisis.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said the plan suggested a startling return to federal interference in District affairs.

“It feels like a step back in time,” he said, noting that Congress pulled away from local interference in 1973 when it allowed residents to elect a mayor and legislative council. 

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