WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Analysis: Senator Rand Paul Derails D.C. Budget Autonomy Momentum

Play associated audio

Proponents of D.C. budget autonomy withdrew support for a bill to give the District more control over its budget this week  after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a number of amendments. Paul wanted to permanently ban city funding of abortions and relax the city's gun laws by allowing residents to carry concealed weapons.

David Hawkings , editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing talks with Matt McCleskey, host of WAMU's Morning Edition, on the recent setback for D.C. legislatures.

On how Paul blindsided legislators:"Sen Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) who was the chairman of the committee that was getting ready to mark this bill up, told us that just hours before Sen. Rand Paul announced this that everything was fine and things were ready to rock," says Hawkings. "Sen. Paul is developing a reputation in his first two years in the Senate as 'that Senator' you read about in civics textbooks, who is willing and eager to use a Senator's individual power to slow things down or get what he wants at almost every turn."

On what could have been the motive for Paul to make these moves: "It was a bit of an opportunity for him. He believes, obviously, there's a big disconnect between his libertarian views of small federal government and devolving power to the people and to locales and states, which would seem to argue entirely in favor of this budget autonomy bill, on the one hand," says Hawkings. "But at the same time, he's a social and cultural conservative. He's absolutely opposed to abortion rights and to gun control."

Whether D.C. will have another shot at budget autonomy this year: "I think so long as Sen. Paul is connected to this position and is insisted on this position, it is stuck for the year. I don't think there's much time," says Hawkings. "Friday, when Congress leaves on a week-long July 4th recess, is a customary moment in the four-year presidential cycle when most big legislating from here on out — between now and the election — is stopped pretty much in its tracks."

NPR

Out Of Juvenile Corrections, Poems Of Fury, Loss — And Lingering Beauty

Over 1,000 students submitted their work for Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections. Two young poets split the top prize — and they've shared their poems with NPR.
NPR

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.
NPR

Be Like Bernie: Sanders Looks To Spread His Political Wealth

He's beginning to expand his political network by helping upstart progressive congressional candidates and state legislators, lending his fundraising prowess and national fame to boost their bids.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.