May 31, 2016

Battle Over DC Budget Escalating As Obama Threatens Veto

Officials in Washington, D.C., are planning to defy Congress as an escalating legal battle brews over Republican legislation banning the District from spending money without congressional approval.

“The current D.C. government needs to be reined in,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement Wednesday. “We will not allow Congress and the Constitution to be undermined.”

Republicans in the House of Representatives are sparring with officials in the District over the legality of the D.C. Council’s plan to spend money from its 2016 budget before the House gives it approval. Ryan is blasting the efforts as unconstitutional, while local leaders charge House Republicans are playing politics with D.C.’s finances to impede laws they disagree with.

“For weeks, House Republicans have been disguising their opposition to D.C. budget autonomy with legalistic arguments, despite a court decision upholding the referendum,” Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s non-voting member in Congress, said Thursday in a press release. “However, Speaker Ryan candidly admitted that Republicans want to keep their authoritarian grip over D.C.’s locally-raised funds in order to block policies they oppose.”

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