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March 4, 2015

Posts in "Eleanor Holmes Norton"

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 25, 2015

Congress Investigating D.C. Marijuana Legalization

Chaffetz is the chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform, which has jurisdiction over D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Chaffetz is the chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform, which has jurisdiction over D.C. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One day before the District of Columbia is set to legalize marijuana, members of Congress are launching an investigation into D.C.’s decision to do so, and warning that implementing legalization would break the law.

“If you decide to move forward tomorrow with the legalization of marijuana in the District, you will be doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., wrote in a letter sent to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser early Wednesday morning.

Full story

February 19, 2015

Staffers Get to Know ‘the Real Washington’

Norton at the 2014 "Ask Me About D.C. Event." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Norton at the 2014 “Ask Me About D.C.” event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hundreds of staffers crowded into the Cannon caucus room Wednesday afternoon to learn about what the District of Columbia has to offer outside of Capitol Hill — and to fill their “D.C. Stuff” bags with some capital swag.

Staffers perused the 72 tables advertising local restaurants, hotels, attractions and services as part of D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s annual “Ask Me About D.C.” event.

“What I’m hoping they take away from this event is information to give their constituents beyond official Washington, to what we call the ‘real Washington,’ the Washington that has 650,000 people, the Washington beyond the Mall,” the Democrat told CQ Roll Call at the event. “We think that’s the part of Washington that their constituents need to get to know.”

Full story

February 6, 2015

Congress Extends NFL Season, at Least in Washington

Capitol Hill once welcomed Redskins cheerleaders, but leaders are now threatening the franchise. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Is Capitol Hill becoming less welcoming to the NFL? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress has once again jumped into the National Football League controversy over the Washington Redskins’ team name, with one member introducing a bill to formally declare the name a derogatory term that cannot be trademarked, and other members questioning why the league should continue as a non-profit, tax-exempt institution. Full story

January 26, 2015

White House Drone Raises Questions About D.C., Capitol Policy

Sen. Leahy brings a drone to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy brought a drone to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A small drone found on the White House lawn caused some lawmakers to question the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone policy in the District of Columbia Monday.

“The Secret Service cannot handle the threat of drones without further Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations that update the interpretation of the no-fly zone to include such unmanned aircraft,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement Monday. Full story

January 22, 2015

Lawmakers Define Oversight Role in L’Enfant Metro Incident

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of Congress are looking to flex their oversight muscles, after summoning national and local transportation officials to Capitol Hill on Wednesday evening to brief them on the recent deadly incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station.

Although the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating and the D.C. government is becoming involved, members of the capital region delegation insisted they, too, have a role to play.

Full story

January 21, 2015

Norton: Union Bill Is ‘First Attack’ on D.C. Autonomy in 114th Congress

The District will have to grapple with a new marijuana rider. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said Tuesday that Republicans have launched their “first attack” on District of Columbia autonomy in the 114th Congress in a bill that would make violence from labor union organizing a federal crime.

The “Freedom from Union Violence Act of 2015,” sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would criminalize violence committed by unions affecting commerce by robbery, extortion or threatening physical violence, subject to a fine up to $250,000 or up to 20 years in prison. The bill includes a provision noting that its jurisdiction would include criminal acts interfering with interstate commerce as well as commerce in the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

“D.C.’s labor laws have been thrown into a national anti-labor bill in a way that Senator Vitter could not do with local or state labor laws anywhere else,” Norton said in a statement.  In other words, the D.C. representative took issue with the fact that the federal bill would not affect labor laws in the states, but would affect D.C., since the District is not a state. Full story

January 20, 2015

D.C. Hoping Obama Will Address Statehood in State of the Union Address

Obama making his 2014 State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Obama making his 2014 State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been nearly 50 years since a president mentioned District of Columbia autonomy in the State of the Union address, but D.C. activists and leaders are hoping 2015 will be the year President Barack Obama brings the D.C. statehood effort to the national stage.

“I think this is an opportunity for President Obama to stand up for what I think is a moral cause and bring national attention to it,” said Josh Burch, co-founder of Neighbors United for D.C. Statehood. Full story

January 14, 2015

Norton Introduces D.C. Statehood Bill Despite New Hurdles

Carper, left, chaired Monday's hearing on D.C. statehood options. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Carper, left, with Norton at the D.C. statehood hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the face of likely opposition from the Republican-led 114th Congress, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., reintroduced the “New Columbia Admission Act” Tuesday, which would make the District of Columbia the 51st state.

“Although residents recognize that today’s far-right Republican House and Senate will not move a District statehood bill, our citizens have shown that they will not reduce their activism for statehood,” Norton said in a statement. “The introduction of the New Columbia Admission Act is an important signal that this is the moment for building a strong statehood movement in the city and nationwide, in addition to the continuing work in Congress.” Full story

Lawmakers Demand Answers About Deadly L’Enfant Metro Incident (Updated)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:14 p.m. | The deadly incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station Monday has raised questions about the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s emergency response procedures, and has some members of Congress demanding answers.

On Monday afternoon, a Yellow Line train from L’Enfant Plaza came to a halt inside the tunnel and the train and tunnel filled with smoke, killing one woman and hospitalizing dozens more.  In the wake of the accident, federal lawmakers from the capital region were demanding answers, and they could have more details on the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation next week. Full story

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