Sen. Rand Paul was responsible for quashing the D.C. budget autonomy bill Tuesday. The Republican senator from Kentucky introduced a number of amendments that, in part, would relax the city’s gun laws and make a permanent ban on city funding for abortions.
These amendments went against the priorities of the largely Democratic city leaders, who ultimately asked for the budget autonomy bill to be pulled.
A day later, according to The Washington Times, the bill’s co-sponsor, Joe Lieberman, condemned his colleagues’ tendency to impose laws that exclusively impact the District, “since no one in Congress would dare to impose laws on any of the states."
At the start of the bill’s scheduled markup Wednesday, which was ultimately derailed, Lieberman said the fact that D.C. doesn’t have budget autonomy is a “relic.”
Via Washington Times:
At the outset of Wednesday’s markup, Mr. Lieberman noted the committee “had intended to take up the measure that would provide budget autonomy for the District of Columbia.”
Jonathan Chait pointed out in a post for New York Magazine some of the ironies in Paul’s actions.
Paul, a part of the Tea Party, is so committed to fighting federal power that he opposes the 1965 Civil Rights Act on the grounds that government should not force private businesses to follow civil rights law. But, in this instance regarding D.C. budget autonomy, he is “imposing federal power to halt a local government from setting its taxes and spending as its citizens see fit.”
He killed the bill by introducing amendments to dictate Washington, D.C., policy on abortion, guns, and labor unions — Paul disagrees with the opinions of Washingtonians on those matters and wants Washington to impose his views on us. One of his demands, apparently, is not only to continue the legalization of handgun ownership (which Republicans had previously forced upon our unwilling city) but to establish a new office to facilitate it. Paul demands that Washington “establish an office for the purpose of facilitating the purchase and registration of firearms by D.C. residents.”
How nice. Our tax dollars would pay for a new bureaucracy that we don’t wish to pay for but for which Rand Paul thinks we must. What a principled defender of federalism and liberty.
* Think Progress has a list of the Top 5 ways Republicans have turned Washington, D.C., into their legislative playground.
* And here's Esquire's all-around rant against Rand Paul.
* The DCist headline for its article on the matter reads: "Noxious Big Government Amendments Sink D.C. Budget Autonomy Bill."
Paul, a committed abortion opponent and Tea Party favorite, told the Post that he wanted to use D.C. to make a point. "I think it's a good way to call attention to some issues that have national implications. We don't have [control] over the states but we do for D.C.," he was quoted as saying.
* Capital One Financial Corp. will invest $150 million in a new data center in the Richmond-area, which, according to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office, will create 50 jobs.
Washington Business Journal reports that Virginia beat out Texas for the center, largely thanks to incentives from the state.
* For your evening enjoyment, WCP has compiled a list of a few children's book title suggestions based on all the turmoil unraveling in D.C. politics.
Check out "Goodnight Money Orders" and more here.
* The U.S. Court of Appeals Tuesday rejected Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations.
According to the RTD, the court upheld the regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming.
* A D.C. Council committee had a hearing Wednesday to address contractors’ needs to easily get temporary on-street parking permits and caregivers’ needs to park in front of the homes of their patients.
The discussion, according to DCist, went off-track a bit as some attendees floated ideas for long-term parking solutions.
The current residential dates back to 1974 and designates residents’ parking zones based on the ward they live in.
The logic? Wards are too big, they inevitably get redistricted and people within wards can find creative ways to employ their parking privileges. Take Wells' own bailiwick, Ward 6. You could live on H Street NE yet still enjoy a residential parking permit that allows you to park down by the baseball stadium on game days. In Ward 3, Bairstow said, residents would drive to Woodley Park and jump on the Metro from there. All told, the current zone-based parking system doesn't really do much to dissuade driving—or at least try and recover the costs of having people try to park on the street.