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

Health

Voting

In The News

Mississippi Supreme Court Overturns Successful Ballot Initiative
In The States
Mississippi Supreme Court Overturns Successful Ballot Initiative
May 16, 2021
by Dan McCue

JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Supreme Court on Friday overturned a voter-approved ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana, holding that the election law governing ballot referendums is out of date. The decision, which could halt other citizen-led efforts to amend the state constitution, struck down a... Read More

Ex-University of Pittsburgh Chancellor to Chair Pennsylvania Redistricting Commission
In The States
Ex-University of Pittsburgh Chancellor to Chair Pennsylvania Redistricting Commission
May 16, 2021
by Dan McCue

HARRISBURG — Mark Nordenberg, a former University of Pittsburgh chancellor, will chair the committee in charge of drawing Pennsylvania’s legislative districts, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced this week. The appointment means Nordenberg, a former dean of Pitt’s law school, will hold the potentially tie-breaking vote on... Read More

House GOP Elects Trump Defender Stefanik to No. 3 Post
Congress
House GOP Elects Trump Defender Stefanik to No. 3 Post
May 14, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Republican House members handily elected Rep. Elise Stefanik, of New York, to the number three post in their conference leadership Friday, hoping her elevation will end an intra-party feud between allies of former President Donald Trump and his GOP detractors. With little suspense, Stefanik... Read More

Employee Input Critical for Digital Workplace Success
Employment
Employee Input Critical for Digital Workplace Success
May 14, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The transition to remote work this past year happened a lot more quickly than many expected, which suggests organizations were “already working in a digital environment, we just had not realized it,” said Tatyana Mamut, senior vice president of new products at Pendo yesterday. Companies have... Read More

Is Income-Driven Repayment Contributing to Federal Student Loan Payment Problems?
Think Tanks
Is Income-Driven Repayment Contributing to Federal Student Loan Payment Problems?
May 14, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Student loan forgiveness has been a topic of conversation as the Biden administration continues to consider proposals for alleviating student loan debt, but in the absence of any news on that front, borrowers are starting to get worried as federal student loan repayment is... Read More

China Irked By US Push for Taiwan Presence at World Health Assembly
Geopolitics
China Irked By US Push for Taiwan Presence at World Health Assembly
May 14, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Over the last two weeks, China and the U.S. have made dueling comments about whether Taiwan should be admitted to this year's World Health Assembly, the meeting where priorities and policies of the World Health Organization are set, which will be held later this month. U.S.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top