Congress has voted to let the District of Columbia use city money to fund abortions for low-income women, implement a medical marijuana law and continue a needle-exchange program.
The Senate passed the city's budget bill Sunday without restrictions. The House OK'd it earlier in the week.
Because the city is under federal control, Congress must approve its budget. The city's non-voting delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, said previously that it was the first time in her memory that no conditions were attached.
D.C. voters approved a law allowing medical marijuana in 1998. But before it went into effect, Congress blocked the city from setting its own drug policies. The needle-exchange ban had been removed last year but Republicans sought to re-attach it to the bill.
On Sunday, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) issued the following statement on the historic passage of D.C. Appropriations with all riders removed.
“Passage of the finalized Conference Report also brings finality to a tragic chapter in the story of the District’s partial home rule. These riders have cost residents dearly in lives lost in an epidemic of an incurable disease, and in untold numbers of unwanted pregnancies with a set of consequences of their own. The District has sought only to spend its own funds from local taxpayers to mitigate health issues embedded in all three riders.