Policy Riders Undercut D.C. Residents, Say City Officials | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Policy Riders Undercut D.C. Residents, Say City Officials

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D.C. officials were dealt a string of blows this week from Congress, as the House passed a number of amendments that officials say undercut D.C. citizens.

Do you like weed? Or even strict gun laws? Well, your elected officials on the D.C. Council think you do, so they decriminalized weed. To combat violence, they also set up numerous restrictions to make it harder to, say, carry a concealed weapon on the National Mall. All that would be wiped away if the Republican-sponsored proposals are accepted by the Senate.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says all those so-called policy riders are wrong. "The Congress under the Home Rule Act has devolved local lawmaking to the local D.C. government with explicit exceptions that do not include these riders," the delegate says.

Mayor Vincent Gray is also frustrated with Republicans who claim to favor local control. He says the D.C. Council can handle these local matters: "Because we have the capability and we've demonstrated again and again to be able to manage our affairs in the District of Columbia. We're not a toy. We're not a pawn."

But the Republican sponsors of the bill argue Congress controls the federal city, even if most local voters don't want anything to do with their proposals.

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