By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Longtime Democratic District of Columbia Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton has condemned attacks on her city by Republicans who now want to strip the nation’s capital of Home Rule.
“Representative Clyde literally wants the federal government to resume running D.C. as a colony,” Rep. Norton said. Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, a member of the House Oversight Committee, counts among those leading a GOP contingent seeking to repeal the District of Columbia’s Home Rule Act.
Clyde and others have been critical of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, claiming that crime, homelessness, and open drug use are out of control in the nation’s capital. The GOP lawmakers also cited Mayor Bowser’s indoor vaccine mandate, which she’s since rolled back.
“While I’m glad our intention of repealing D.C.’s Home Rule Act was heard loud and clear, the problems facing our nation’s capital city extend far beyond medical tyranny,” Rep. Clyde contended.
“Make no mistake, this was not an empty threat; legislation is coming to restore Congress’ Article I Section 8 Constitutional duty ‘to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District’ and to properly manage D.C.’s affairs.
“In the near future, we will free 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’ almost 50-year reign of terror and failed leadership,” Rep. Clyde continued.
With the midterm elections in November, Republicans are positioned to retake the U.S. House and Senate, and killing any hopes of D.C. statehood.
“Rep. Clyde wants to take away the limited self-government the nearly 700,000 D.C. residents, a majority of whom are minorities, have had for the last 50 years and give absolute power over D.C. to Congress and, presumably, to congressionally or presidentially appointed administrators,” Rep. Norton stated.
“At a time when we are having unprecedented success on our D.C. statehood bill, we will continue to move forward, not go back. We will defeat his anti-democratic efforts.”
President Richard Nixon signed the Home Rule Act into law, and the measure gives D.C. an elected chief executive (mayor) and legislature (Council).
Rep. Norton pointed out that, in signing the statement on Home Rule, Nixon wrote, “One of the major goals of this Administration is to place responsibility for local functions under local control and to provide local governments with the authority and resources they need to serve their communities effectively.”
Nixon’s statement continued: “The measure I sign today represents a significant step in achieving this goal in the city of Washington. It will give the people of the District of Columbia the right to elect their own city officials and to govern themselves in local affairs.”
“As the Nation approaches the 200th anniversary of its founding, it is particularly appropriate to assure those persons who live in our Capital City rights and privileges which have long been enjoyed by most of their countrymen. But the measure I sign today does more than create machinery for the election of local officials. It also broadens and strengthens the structure of the city government to enable it to deal more effectively with its responsibilities.”
D.C. remains deprived of voting representation in Congress and full self-government, which Rep. Norton called undemocratic.
“Statehood is the remedy,” she declared. “Congress has the constitutional authority to grant D.C. statehood. D.C. has a larger population than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a larger budget than 12 states, has a larger gross domestic product 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 revenue.”