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D.C. Leader Press Congress For More Autonomy

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By Megan Hughes

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and City Council Chair Vincent Gray pressed Congress to give the district more autonomy.

District resident Nikolas Schiller wore colonial garb to today's hearing, a protest that D.C. still has no representation. But Capitol police ordered him to remove his tri-cornered hat.

"The police escorted me out, checked my ID and they let me back in with the understanding I would not put the hat back on," says Schiller.

Currently, the district's budgets and any laws passed by city council have to be reviewed by Congress. Fenty says that creates problems for city schools. "We approve a budget that's not actually passed until more than a month after the school year begins," says Fenty. "Imagine if you had to manage your bank account by spending money you haven't even got yet."

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton's proposal removes that requirement. Congress would have the option to review D.C. laws.

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