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Norton And Gray Urge Congress To Leave D.C. Budget Alone

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Norton has long fought to keep her congressional colleagues' hands off of the D.C. budget.
Norton has long fought to keep her congressional colleagues' hands off of the D.C. budget.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the District's Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton are calling on Congress today to approve the District's budget without restrictions on how the city uses tax dollars.

Currently D.C.'s budget has to be approved by Congress, and lawmakers have often used their power to inact their own policy agendas. Legislation in previous years prevented the District's from funding abortions for low-income women and a needle-exchange program.

This morning, Norton and Gray will join D.C. budget autonomy advocates at a press conference on Capitol Hill, where they'll urge Congress to steer clear of so-called policy riders in their appropriations process.

Proponents of D.C. autonomy say this could be the last year Congress has to approve the city's budget. In April District voters approved a referendum to amend city's home rule charter—allowing the city government to spend local tax dollars without Congressional approval.

Federal lawmakers could still block the change, and questions about its legality could mean the issue ends up in court.

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This weekend, D.C. celebrated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Kojo chats with the civil rights leader and longtime city council member who chaired the D.C. host committee.


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