facebook linkedin twitter

Freedom Caucus Members Roil Colleagues With DC Oversight Proposal

October 4, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., have stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy with a proposal that Congress tighten its oversight of the District of Columbia.

H.R. 4445, the District of Columbia Home Rule Improvement Act, would double the congressional review period for legislation passed by the D.C. Council from 30 days to 60 days, expand the expedited parliamentary procedures for disapproving D.C. legislation, and clarify that Congress can disapprove of individual provisions of D.C. legislation. 

On Friday, James McGovern, D-Mass., chairman of the House Rules Committee, one of two committees to which the bill has been referred, condemned the legislation, declaring it both an attack on the District and dead on arrival.

“It is ironic that members of the Freedom Caucus have introduced legislation to give the federal government increased ability to meddle in the local affairs of the D.C. government,” McGovern said. “The federal government has no business overriding the will of local residents. Small government conservatives should be outraged by H.R. 4445, but instead they are leading the charge to try and get it passed.”

The introduction of the legislation comes as the House is preparing to consider H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act — legislation that would admit the State of Washington, D.C. into the Union.

McGovern said Friday the House needs “to pass the Washington, D.C. Admission Act and finally make the District a state – not try to restrict the District from governing itself.”

But a spokesman for Representative Meadows told The Well News Friday afternoon, “Our response is that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress authority and oversight over the capital — or Washington, D.C.”

Representative Gosar’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Under the Home Rule Act of 1973, most D.C. legislation takes effect after a 30-day congressional review period, unless during that period a resolution of disapproval is enacted into law. 

District bills affecting certain criminal law titles of the D.C. Code are already subject to a 60-day review period, and during the congressional review period, Members of Congress can use fast-track procedures to bring a disapproval resolution to the floor. 

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., scoffed at the bill, saying Congressional Republicans made the review period for D.C. legislation an anachronism a long time ago.

Republicans typically prefer to use the appropriations process to try to meddle in local D.C. affairs and repeal D.C. legislation, she said in a lengthy release put out by her office. 

“Voted into the minority in the House, Gosar and Meadows must have a lot of time on their hands,” Norton said.  “When I was in the minority, though, I consistently got bills passed that helped my constituents, and their constituents expect them to do the same. 

“As the House proceeds with the markup of H.R. 51, these two Members are stuck in the anti-home-rule era, which passed into the night even before passage of H.R. 51.  Members of Congress sponsoring legislation that deprecates American citizens are unworthy of their office. I will stop this latest gratuitous bill in its tracks,” she said.

In The News

November 29, 2021
by Kate Michael
Critics Say Humanitarian Aid May Prolong Conflict, Hamper Long-Term Development

WASHINGTON — According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at the end of 2020 the most people on... Read More

WASHINGTON — According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at the end of 2020 the most people on record — about 82.4 million people — were displaced around the world and 243.8 million people required humanitarian assistance. That is one in 33 people worldwide... Read More

November 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
Speaker Pelosi, California Delegation to Host Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the California Congressional delegation will host the lighting of the U.S.... Read More

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the California Congressional delegation will host the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m. This year’s tree, nicknamed “Sugar Bear,” is a white fir from the Six Rivers National Forest... Read More

November 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Interior Dept. Report Advocates Shift Away From Fossil Fuels

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s new proposal to overhaul the nation's oil and gas leasing program drew praise this week... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s new proposal to overhaul the nation's oil and gas leasing program drew praise this week from environmentalists in Congress but complaints from oil-producing states. The proposal wouldn’t eliminate oil and gas leases but it would impose severe restrictions on them and... Read More

November 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
Biden Tells Americans New COVID Variant ‘Not Cause for Panic’

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday, calling the new omicron variant of the coronavirus a cause for... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday, calling the new omicron variant of the coronavirus a cause for concern “but not a cause for panic.” Speaking in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of... Read More

November 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Bannon Accused of Trying to Orchestrate Trial by Media

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Sunday accused former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon of trying to defend against the criminal charges... Read More

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Sunday accused former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon of trying to defend against the criminal charges he faces through the media instead of federal court. They said in a court filing that Bannon wants to share witness statements with reporters in an... Read More

Suozzi Declares for New York Gubernatorial Race

NEW YORK — Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., announced on Monday in a virtual new conference that he will run for... Read More

NEW YORK — Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., announced on Monday in a virtual new conference that he will run for governor of New York. Suozzi is the latest candidate to join the race in which he will contend with incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took office... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top