Friday, April 20, 2007
Hurray for the House!!
Thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives, District of Columbia residents are once again on our way to getting a vote in Congress. By a vote of 241 to 177 House members supported a bill that would give us one voting Representative. This only happened when another vote for predominantly Republican Utah was included in the bill. DC voters are largely Democratic. Nevertheless, we'll take what we can get. Two huge stumbling blocks still remain. The Senate must approve it and Bush has already vowed to veto the bill, viewing it as unconstitutional. How can it be unconstitutional for legal U.S. citizens to have a voice in how their taxes are spent and how they are governed?! I can't imagine another jurisdiction accepting the intrusion on its governance that Congress inflicts on our City Council. Members from as far away as Idaho even get involved in how we run and fund our public schools. The United States Congress does not have the expertise nor sensitivity to micro-manage a city. Taxable property and income here are greatly reduced by the number of nonprofit, federal government and diplomatic entities here. Some would argue that the federal payment to the District makes up for that. Those of us who live and work here know differently. Was it justifiable for Bush to force the District to spend tens of thousands of its Homeland Security funds to pay for security during his inaugural parties when every other president has covered those costs with campaign funds? Do you see a pattern here? If we should actually get a vote in the House, I'll dance naked in the streets. . .