Barack Obama Reiterates Support for D.C. Budget Autonomy

Posted June 28, 2012 at 3:12pm

Two days after a Senate committee’s scheduled markup of D.C. budget autonomy legislation was derailed, President Barack Obama reiterated his support for the concept.

Included today in the Statement of Administration Policy on the House version of the fiscal 2013 Financial Services spending bill was backing for a “clean” provision on severing D.C. budgeting from the federal appropriations process.

The SAP threatened a veto of the measure on grounds unrelated to the D.C. provision.

The SAP urges the removal of policy riders affecting D.C., including language contained in the House bill that would restrict local funding for abortions in the city, as well as reiterates calls to unlink the District of Columbia’s budget from the Congressional appropriations process.

“The Administration urges the House to include the provision requested in the FY 2013 Budget that allows the District of Columbia to spend its own funds collected through local taxes and other non-Federal sources in the event of a lapse in Federal appropriations,” the SAP reads. “As is true for States, vital District operations that rely solely on non-Federal funds should not be disrupted by inaction of the Federal Government.”

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said Wednesday that she felt momentum was still growing for the cause of D.C. budget autonomy, even after she asked the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to pull its budget autonomy bill from consideration because of the likelihood that policy riders loosening the city’s gun laws would have been added.

Today, she called the administration’s official support “invaluable.”

“I am grateful that the president continues to push for D.C.’s right to self-government, especially the day after an unusual number of anti-home-rule amendments to the D.C. budget autonomy bill led the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to delay consideration of the bill,” Norton said in a statement. “As the appropriations bill continues to move through Congress, we will need the president and our allies in the Senate to fight to defend home rule.”