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Streamlined Budget-Approval Process Proposed For D.C.

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) meets with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray at the May 12 hearing on the city's finances.
Patrick Madden
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) meets with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray at the May 12 hearing on the city's finances.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa says while he isn't prepared to grant D.C. full budget autonomy, he wants to help D.C. streamline how Congress signs off on the District's budget.

Issa also wants the District to look into adopting a contingency budget for D.C. that deals only with local funds and would prevent the city from shutting down if the federal government was forced to do so.

Issa pitched his ideas during a hearing on Capital Hill Thursday with Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials.

After his testimony, Gray praised Issa.

"I was very encouraged by Congressman Issa's statements, and we'll look forward to working with him...to be able to move in that direction," he said.

There was concern leading up to the hearing that it could get acrimonious. The notice for the hearing, for example, talked up the possibility of bringing back a control board, which oversaw city finance from 1995 to 2001. But overall both sides say it was a polite -- and even productive -- morning.

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