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Local Impact: Federal Spending and the D.C. Area

View of the U.S. Capitol from the Eastern Market neighborhood
Debate about government spending is playing a key role in the 2012 election season. But discussion on the scope of the federal government takes on special significance in the D.C. area, where nearly everyone has some tie to Uncle Sam. In a special series informed by the Public Insight Network, WAMU 88.5 looks at the economic, political and emotional impacts of some fundamental questions: What role should the government play? And at what cost?
WAMU 88.5

As National Park Service Turns 100, Financial Straits Hit Close To Home In D.C.

The agency is facing $12 billion in deferred maintenance costs. In the Washington region, the National Mall may be the most noticeable sign of those troubles.
WAMU 88.5

U.S. House Rejects D.C.'s Plans For Full Autonomy Over Budget

In a 240-179 vote, the Republican-led House passed a bill that would overturn efforts by the city to take control over how it spends its money. It's a largely symbolic move: The Senate and President Obama are unlikely to go along.

WAMU 88.5

Dedicated Funding Stream For Metro? Probably Not This Year, Lawmakers Say

Metro is the only major transit system in the U.S. without a dedicated funding stream, like a yearly subsidy or a specific sales tax. Members of the Washington region’s congressional delegation pledged Wednesday that they would try to establish one.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Leaders Remain Defiant As Congress Exerts Authority Over City Budget

D.C. leaders on Tuesday defiantly claimed the right to spend local funds with less congressional interference, just as Republicans on Capitol Hill passed a bill re-exerting their authority over the city's finances.
WAMU 88.5

Congress Takes Aim At D.C. In Battle Over Budget Autonomy

House Republicans could move a bill as soon as next week to nullify the 2013 D.C. referendum that limits the role Congress plays in approving the city's annual budget.
WAMU 88.5

Metrorail Won't Get Federal Bailout, House Republicans Say

The Washington area's struggling subway system won't get a federal bailout, GOP Rep. John Mica said Thursday as Republicans blamed the Metro system's recent series of crises on poor management rather than a lack of funding.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Now Has 'Budget Autonomy.' But What Does That Even Mean?

A judge's ruling on the 2013 D.C. budget autonomy referendum means that city officials have wrested more flexibility from Congress on spending the locally raised dollars that make up the majority of the city's budget.
WAMU 88.5

Is The Bed Tax A Dream Come True For Virginia Governor's Health Care Agenda?

With Republicans retaining control of Virginia's House and Senate, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's efforts to expand Medicaid might seem out of reach. But he's got a plan, and the hospital industry might be willing to accept it.

WAMU 88.5

For New Metro Leader, Long-Term Questions Come With $6 Billion Price Tag

Paul Wiedefeld, Metro's new general manager, takes over an agency with urgent problems. But there's also a longer-term, $6 billion question looming, and the answer will require cooperation from multiple players.

WAMU 88.5

Should D.C. Change Its Fiscal Year? It's 'Infinitely Simple,' or 'Very Complicated'

After being under the federal government's financial thumb for so long, Washington, D.C., soon could move closer to financial autonomy, by being allowed to move away from the feds' October-September fiscal year. But is gaining that measure of freedom worth the tens of millions of dollars the change could cost?