- Trump Quote of the Day
- Playing the Expectations Game in New Hampshire
- The Latest on Wonk Wire
- How Valuable Is Your Primary Vote?
- Putting New Hampshire in Perspective
As Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., adjusts to his new role in the House, he also takes on a little-recognized responsibility: oversight of the District of Columbia.
Ryan has not served on any of the spending or oversight committees with jurisdiction over D.C., so it is tough to gauge his record. But he has spent nearly half his life as a professional in Washington, and he goes to great pains to distance himself from the capital city. On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, he told Martha Raddatz: “I don’t live in Washington, D.C. I never really wanted to live here. I just — I just work here,” a talking point he reiterated throughout the day’s media blitz.
Congress exercises unique power over the District, dictating how it spends local and federal dollars and approving its laws. As a top leader, Ryan has the power to shape that agenda as well, but it’s unclear how he might do so. Full story
House Republicans rallied around outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner Wednesday evening to approve one of his pet projects: a school voucher program for the District of Columbia.
The House approved reauthorizing the program, known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, by a mostly party-line vote of 240–191. Full story
One Virginia lawmaker said Friday that safety and management issues surrounding Washington’s transit system has caused a “crisis of confidence” among riders and lawmakers.
“I think that one of the consequences of this drip, drip, drip of safety concerns is a crisis of confidence in the riders and in stakeholders, including stakeholders in Congress,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly said on WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, when asked about the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s ability to request assistance from Congress. Full story
Updated 2:30 p.m. | As the House Republican Conference continues to navigate an unpredictable leadership situation, outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner got one piece of good news Friday: his bill reauthorizing a D.C. school vouchers program moved forward.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved, on a party-line vote, a five-year reauthorization of the program Friday. Partisan divisions were on display during the markup. Full story
Eight members of the District of Columbia City Council expressed their opposition Thursday to Speaker John A. Boehner’s bill to reauthorize a D.C. school voucher program.
In a letter sent to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the council members argued the program was ineffective and an affront to local governance. They said students in the program should be able to use them throughout high school, but the program should not be extended to new students. Full story
One Senate committee took action Wednesday to wield congressional power over the District of Columbia’s Metro system amid criticism over safety and service.
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., introduced a bill last week to alter the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s board of directors, granting the Transportation Secretary sole authority to appoint the federal members of the board. On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the bill, which both Maryland and Virginia senators support, by voice vote. Full story
Updated 5:31 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner is poised to end his speakership the way he started it, by introducing a measure to reauthorize the District of Columbia school voucher program.
On Monday, the Ohio Republican introduced the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act to reauthorize the vouchers, also known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, for five years. The program was the first bill Boehner introduced after he became speaker of the House in the 112th Congress. Full story
Updated 4:03 p.m. | Outrage over Capitol Hill’s meddling in the District of Columbia’s affairs could soon come full circle.
The Republican staff director of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has agreed to trek from the halls of Congress to a local courtroom on Nov. 19. Sean McLaughlin will testify in D.C. Superior Court on why he directed a D.C. activist to leave the panel’s hearing room during an April 21 markup. Full story
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued two urgent recommendations that the Washington, D.C., Metro system be placed under federal oversight in the wake of safety issues.
“There is now a lack of independent safety oversight of Metrorail,’’ NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a statement Wednesday. “This is an unacceptable gap in system safety.” Full story
Keenan Austin’s work day now begins by climbing the steps of the John A. Wilson building, instead of the Cannon House Office Building.
Austin recently became the latest congressional staffer to depart the gridlocked institution for the District of Columbia government, joining At-Large Councilmember David Grosso’s office as his new chief of staff in September.