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A leading House Republican drafted a bill that would give the District of Columbia more control over its budget.
The bill drafted by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, would allow the District to start its fiscal year in July. District leaders have long complained about having to start their fiscal year in October. The bill would allow the District to start spending its local tax dollars without congressional approval.
Congress has the final say over the District's budget and laws. That means services for the 600,000 residents of the nation's capital hang in the balance anytime funding for the federal government is at risk of running out.
The bill, a draft of which was obtained by The Associated Press, would prevent such local shutdowns in the future.
“We appreciate that Chairman Issa has followed up on his statements at a May hearing that he wanted to give the District of Columbia more authority over its local budget and fiscal year and to avoid future shut downs of the District government over federal spending fights,” Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said.
She planned to discuss the proposal with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown.