Congress Holds Unusual Hearing to Review D.C. Budget

D.C. leaders say city should be allowed to make own spending decisions

Thursday, May 12, 2011  |  Updated 9:00 AM EDT
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Congress Holds Unusual Hearing to Review D.C. Budget

Tom Sherwood

Vincent Gray shakes hands on Capitol Hill before a budget hearing.

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is on Capitol Hill Thursday for an unusual oversight hearing on his budget proposal.

A subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called the hearing to examine the long-term fiscal health of the District.  The move has angered some D.C. leaders who say the city should be allowed to make its own spending decisions.

In announcing Thursday's hearing, the committee brought up the possible return of the control board that oversaw the District's finances from 1995 to 2001.  District officials are required by law to submit balanced budgets to Congress for approval and have done so every year since the control board era.  Gray said there's no reason to think the control board would ever have to return.  He also said he looks forward to making the case that the District should, in fact, have control of its own budget.

Last month, several city officials, including Gray, were arrested at a protest over D.C.'s right to make it's own financial decisions.

The District faces a $322 million shortfall for the coming fiscal year.  Gray's $9.6 billion proposed budget would close that gap with a mix of cuts and new taxes.

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