(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Attorneys preparing to sue Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration to force compliance with the District’s budget autonomy law informed all relevant members of Congress before heading to D.C. Superior Court on Thursday.
Hours later, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called for Congress to pass legislation co-sponsored by Chairman Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, that would permit the District to spend local tax funds without congressional approval.
“Congress should seize this opportunity to allow the District to control its local funds, set its own fiscal calendar, and better protect the District from the harmful effects of future federal government shutdowns,” according to the statement sent to CQ Roll Call in response to questions about the lawsuit’s impact.
If Congress passes a bill endorsing budget autonomy, the lawsuit pitting one branch of District government against the other could be tossed out.
“That would moot the suit,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson confirmed, adding, “It’s an ironic situation that the leaders in Congress support budget autonomy and yet the legislation can’t go through.” Full story