Sen. Joseph Lieberman introduced a bill that would give the District of Columbia more control over its municipal budget.
Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, was joined by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii in introducing the District of Columbia Budget Autonomy Act of 2012 on Tuesday.
The bill would allow the District to spend its local tax dollars without Congressional approval and to set its own fiscal year. It would ensure that the city government could continue functioning amid a federal shutdown.
District leaders applauded the bill, with Mayor Vincent Gray calling it a “bold step.” Local officials rejected a similar bill drafted last year by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California because it restricted the city's ability to fund abortions.