Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Posts in "Eleanor Holmes Norton"

December 16, 2014

Norton Asks GOP Leaders for House Voting Privileges

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., sent a letter to House Republican leadership Tuesday asking that she be granted a vote on the House floor in the 114th Congress.

Currently, Norton can vote in committee, but she does not have a vote on the House floor or Committee of the Whole. The District of Columbia delegate, other delegates and Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner were granted floor votes in the 103rd, 110th and 111th Congresses, when Democrats had the majority. They could vote in the Committee of the Whole, as long as their votes were not decisive.  Full story

December 12, 2014

D.C. Attorney General Unsure How Marijuana Rider Affects District

 D.C. Attorney General Unsure How Marijuana Rider Affects District

Is it legal or not? D.C.’s top law enforcement officer won’t say. (Hannah Hes/CQ Roll Call)

Interim District of Columbia Attorney General Eugene Adams has still not determined the implications of an appropriations rider targeting marijuana legalization in the District.

“The Office of the D.C. Attorney General is continuing to actively review the legislation,” the statement, released on Friday, said, “and will continue through the Senate legislative process and President’s signature on the budget bill to assess how it may provide District policymakers opportunities to implement the will of the people reflected in Initiative 71.” Full story

December 11, 2014

Enacted or Not Enacted? On D.C. Pot Initiative, Depends on Whom You Ask

pot presser001 111314 1 440x292 Enacted or Not Enacted? On D.C. Pot Initiative, Depends on Whom You Ask

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Top Democrats in the House, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are aligning with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s interpretation of an anti-marijuana rider attached to the end-of-the-year spending package.

Norton contends the language in the rider does not block a referendum passed by an overwhelming number of District voters that legalizes possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana. According to a Pelosi spokesman, the California Democrat agrees with Norton’s interpretation of the rider. Full story

December 10, 2014

Norton Raises Questions About D.C. Pot Rider in ‘Cromnibus’

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:45 p.m. | Just hours after news broke that the House and Senate spending package included a rider targeting the District of Columbia’s marijuana policy, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., raised questions as to how the rider’s specific language would actually affect the District.

The rider prohibits federal and local funds from being used “to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or reduce penalties associated with the possession, use or distribution” of marijuana in D.C. Full story

December 9, 2014

Washington 2024 Olympic Campaign Features Capitol Hill Cast

The team behind Washington’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics is trying to spin D.C.’s “this town” reputation to its advantage with a new video featuring some of Capitol Hill’s most recognizable personalities.

Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., both make cameos in the bipartisan promotional campaign that went live Tuesday. Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine were also cast members to boost the region’s bid, as was Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., though Maryland’s delegation is notably absent.

“We have our spats and quarrels,” Warner acknowledged in the 2-minute clip.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis then told the camera: “But we find unity when it really matters.”

Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Washington Wizards guard John Wall are among the other locals in the video reclaiming the “this town” moniker.

The 2024 bid created is also forming a bond between two of the fiercest partisans in the 2012 presidential campaign. Jim Messina, who managed President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and Mitt Romney veteran Matt Rhoades are both working to win Washington the world’s most prestigious sporting event.

Related:

Summer Olympics 2024: D.C. Throws Its Hat in the Ring

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Norton: Negotiations Continue for D.C. Pot Rider

DC Vote 01 060607 409x330 Norton: Negotiations Continue for D.C. Pot Rider

Norton has been talking with Reid about the rider. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., on Tuesday responded to reports that negotiators have agreed to an appropriations rider targeting the District’s marijuana policy by saying nothing’s decided yet.

“When I talk to Democrats they assure me negotiations are still continuing. And we certainly are continuing to fight and to talk to all the relevant leaders, particularly about our Initiative 71,” Norton said, referring to the D.C. ballot initiative legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, which passed in November. Full story

December 2, 2014

In Response to Ferguson, CBC Backs Obama’s Call for Police Body Cameras (Video)

green 135 111314 440x292 In Response to Ferguson, CBC Backs Obamas Call for Police Body Cameras (Video)

Green wants a hearing on his bill to expand the use of police body cameras. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are backing the White House’s request for a $263 million spending package to expand the use of body cameras for police, hammering the point in a series of passionate floor speeches Monday night regarding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

In addition to praising President Barack Obama for taking the lead on body cameras, Rep. Al Green, called on Congress to follow Obama’s lead on the issue by holding a hearing on the Texas Democrat’s own Transparency in Policing Act to expand use of the technology to all police departments that receive federal dollars.

“We shouldn’t get it right after the fact. This is what is happening in Ferguson,” Green said, suggesting a legislative response that is widely supported by the caucus. In Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department rolled out a pilot body camera program on Oct. 1, and cities around the country are launching similar programs. “We don’t need to have an injustice take place before we move to a just circumstance and incorporate these body cameras,” he said.  Full story

November 26, 2014

Steve Stockman Takes Aim at D.C. Traffic Cams

egypt014 071614 440x314 Steve Stockman Takes Aim at D.C. Traffic Cams

Stockman, right, wants gun ranges and no traffic cams in D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Outgoing Rep. Steve Stockman is trying to leave his mark on Washington residents before he heads back to Texas by using his seat in Congress to intervene in local policy on guns and traffic.

With a handful of weeks left in his term, the Republican introduced bills to mandate a public firearm range in the District of Columbia and prohibit the city from using automated speed and traffic cameras.

Stockman’s gun legislation comes about a month after the city enacted a system to begin issuing concealed carry permits, in response to a federal judge’s ruling. The July 26 order briefly wiped D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns from the books, something Republicans on Capitol Hill tried to do over the summer with an appropriations rider. The D.C. Council is putting the finishing touches on a more permanent solution that would maintain strict gun control standards.

Stockman’s traffic camera proposal is similar to that by another short-timer in Congress: Michigan Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a freshman heading home at the end of this session. Bentivolio sought co-sponsors for a similar bill last year, but it was never introduced. Stockman’s proposal is more broad. In addition to targeting the District, it would cut certain federal highway funds from any state or local government that uses automated traffic enforcement systems.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., caught wind of Stockman’s attempt to curtail traffic cameras and accused both Republicans of bullying the District.

“These two Members, on their way out of Congress, have turned their focus away from their own constituents,” Norton said in a statement. “So, free from accountability to their own residents, they are making a last ditch attempt to secure a legacy on the backs of District of Columbia residents.”

Stockman did not respond to requests for comment about the legislation.

Stockman might still be seeing more of D.C. than he would like. He and three of his staffers were recently subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Stockman has been under scrutiny for campaign contributions from his staff.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately state that District law banned the carrying of handguns in public, after the Heller vs. DC ruling in 2008.

Related:

Gray Signs D.C. Handgun Law to ‘Cure Alleged Constitutional Flaws’

Steve Stockman, Three Aides Subpoenaed in District Court

Steve Stockman Not Going Gently Into That Good Night

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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November 14, 2014

‘Rough Times Ahead’ for District’s Marijuana Law?

pot presser001 111314 440x292 Rough Times Ahead for Districts Marijuana Law?

Norton is trying to protect the D.C. voters’ will on pot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and a few lawmakers from pot-friendly states, have high hopes that the House will not try to stop the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana for recreational use — but the rest of the chamber isn’t ruling out the possibility of intervention.

One of D.C.’s chief allies in Congress, Rep. José E. Serrano of New York, predicted “rough times ahead” for the District when it comes to appropriations riders, the tool Republicans usually use to sink social policies ranging from needle exchanges to abortions. When the senior House Democrat served as chairman of the subcommittee that oversees D.C.’s local spending he successfully eliminated all riders, but he forecasted challenges in the next Congress with the GOP in control of both chambers.

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said, “it’s all on the table,” when pressed on whether a pot rider would appear. Full story

November 12, 2014

Norton Introduces Bill to Eliminate NFL Tax-Exempt Status

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Norton is raring to go against the NFL. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., introduced a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the tax-exempt status for the National Football League, saying it benefits from promoting a “racial slur.”

Norton points to the Washington Redskins name as the reason that the NFL should no longer be exempt from taxes. Her bill already has a Senate counterpart, introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

“American taxpayers have been subsidizing a multi-billion dollar league that promotes what has now been officially found to be a racial slur for profitable gain,” Norton said in a her introductory statement. “Relief from taxes should no longer be given to a league that profits from the continued use of a racial slur, which degrades some Americans.”

The bill reignites a congressional fight over the NFL, which picked up steam in September amid domestic violence issues and increasing calls for the District of Columbia football team to change its name. Given the impending end of the 113th Congress, the bill is unlikely to receive much action.

Norton pointed out that over the summer, the United States Patent and Trademark Office determined the name was offensive and set in motion a process to eliminate federal trademark protections for the football team.

“While the ruling did not persuade [Redskins owner] Daniel Snyder or [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell to change the name, the ruling has the potential to affect the profits received from the sale of the team’s merchandise,” said Norton.

As the District of Columbia’s non-voting delegate, Norton has the power to introduce bills, but she cannot vote on the House floor.

Related:

Critics of Washington Team Name Target NFL Nonprofit Status (Video)

Congress Playing Tough With the NFL (Video)

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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