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March 29, 2015

Posts in "DC-Hill Relations"

March 26, 2015

Rubio, Jordan Target D.C.’s Local Control Over Gun Regulations

Rubio wants to loosen D.C. gun laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rubio wants to loosen D.C. gun laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio introduced a bill Thursday aimed at loosening the District of Columbia’s gun laws.

The Republican lawmakers’ bill, titled the Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015, states that D.C. “remains one of the most dangerous large cities in the United States.” The text states that D.C.’s regulations prevent citizens from protecting themselves against violent crime. Full story

Mendelson to Lankford: D.C. Bills Don’t Violate Religious Freedom

Mendelson, left, sent a letter to Lankford arguing the bills do not violate religious freedom. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mendelson, left, sent a letter to Lankford arguing the bills do not violate religious freedom. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced resolutions of disapproval to block two District of Columbia bills from becoming law, the D.C. Council chairman took his argument in support of the bills directly to Lankford.

“There is no intent on our part to violate the rights of others, such as freedom of religion,” Council Chairman Phil Mendelson wrote in a two-page letter sent to Lankford on March 20. Full story

March 20, 2015

Catholic Leaders Backing Cruz’s D.C. Resolution

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Cruz D.C. resolution is getting attention. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Influential Catholic leaders sent a letter to senators Friday urging them to support Republican Sens. Ted Cruz’s and James Lankford’s effort to block two D.C. bills.

This week, Cruz introduced two joint resolutions of disapproval, with Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, as a co-sponsor, aimed at striking down the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which the D.C. government approved in January. The senators say the bills violate religious freedom and the Catholic leaders agree.

Full story

March 18, 2015

Cruz, Lankford Move to Block D.C. Bills

Cruz moved to block a D.C. law Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz moved to block a D.C. law Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced resolutions of disapproval Wednesday to strike down two D.C. bills they say violate religious freedom.

The resolutions target the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which the D.C. government approved in January. Full story

March 17, 2015

‘Colonists’ Ask Chaffetz to Respect D.C.

Adam Eidinger, right, chairman of the DC Cannabis Campaign, hands a “peace pipe” to a staffer in the Rayburn office of Rep. Jason Chaffetz. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Dressed head to toe in colonial garb, a handful of District of Columbia activists went to Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s office Tuesday afternoon to ask the Utah Republican to respect D.C. laws.

“We pay taxes but we don’t have any representation in this Congress,” Nikolas Schiller of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign told Chaffetz’s staff. “We have a delegate, and she’s awesome, but we think she should be a representative just like Jason.” Full story

A Federal Funding Fight Over D.C. Vouchers

 Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., gives a group hug to students from the Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC during his National School Choice Forum on "Choosing Excellence: A Forum on the Freedom to Choose Academic Excellence for Every Child" in the Hart Senate Office BUilding on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scott hugs students from the Richard Wright Public Charter School in D.C. on Feb. 9. He wants more funding for school vouchers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to protect the D.C. school voucher system, a GOP pet program championed by Speaker John A. Boehner and others.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Republicans are gearing up to move forward on a bill reauthorizing vouchers in the nation’s capital, an initiative known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. They are concerned the White House has again signaled the demise of the federally funded private-school program in its fiscal 2016 budget request.

Full story

March 16, 2015

D.C. Responds to Marijuana Investigation

Mayor Muriel Bowser

Bowser’s office sent a legal brief to Congress last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The District of Columbia government is in the process of responding to a congressional investigation into the enactment and implementation of the voter-passed marijuana legalization initiative.

According to a spokesperson for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the committee staff received a response from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on March 11 outlining the District’s position on the initiative. The committee also received a number of documents, but noted it is only a fraction of the documents it expects to obtain from the D.C. government.

Full story

Leave D.C. Laws Alone, Coalition Tells Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 50 women’s rights and gay rights groups are urging members of Congress not to interfere with two District of Columbia laws they say protect against discrimination.

Heritage Action for America, a conservative advocacy group, has been lobbying members of Congress to overturn the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act, which the D.C. government approved in January. Both laws were recently transmitted to Congress for the mandatory 30-day review period. Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler wrote in an email to CQ Roll Call that resolutions of disapproval will be introduced, but timing is still being solidified.

Full story

March 3, 2015

For Some D.C. Advocates, Mikulski Retirement Is ‘a Special Blow’

Mikulski announced her retirement Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mikulski announced her retirement Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s announcement Monday that she won’t seek another term sparked national reflections about her legacy and speculations about potential successors, but in the District of Columbia, officials and activists focused on the Maryland Democrat’s advocacy for D.C. and the capital region.

“Barbara’s retirement is a special blow to the District of Columbia,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement Monday. “Senator Mikulski was a champion for D.C. democracy, statehood, and home rule, and in fiscal year 2014 got the most pro-home-rule D.C. appropriations bill in history approved by any committee.” Full story

February 26, 2015

Kerry Bentivolio Files for Bankruptcy

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fewer than two months after the Santa Claus impersonator and reindeer farmer who represented southeast Michigan for one term left Congress, the tea party-inspired Republican has filed for bankruptcy.

Former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio listed more than $294,000 in liabilities in documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Monday. Bentivolio, 63, owes nearly $55,000 to two Michigan-based law firms, and has been ordered to pay $120,000 in a case stemming from an illegal campaign claim from his former consultant. Full story

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