WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after House Republicans voted last night to strip the District of Columbia of its budget autonomy.
“Given all of the urgent matters the American people believe are deserving of Congress’s attention, it’s disappointing to me that my Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives have chosen to spend time drafting and voting to approve legislation to further erode the ability of the citizens of the District of Columbia to govern themselves. I’ve always believed Congressional oversight of the District should reflect the Golden Rule, and I’ve always treated the more than 700,000 people living in the District of Columbia the way I would want my own constituents in Delaware, or the citizens of any other state, to be treated. But Delaware and the other 49 states have two senators and voting representation in the House. They don’t have to worry about efforts in Congress to substitute the priorities of lawmakers from faraway states for the will of their own elected representatives.
“The people who live here in our nation’s capital start families, run businesses, pay taxes, and fight and die in our wars like all other Americans. They deserve the right to manage their own affairs and spend their own locally-raised funds the way they choose to spend them. I applaud President Obama for his rejection of the bill the House has passed and urge my Senate colleagues to do the same. I also urge any of my colleagues who similarly object to what the House has done on this issue to join me as a sponsor of S.1688, the New Columbia Admission Act, a bill that would allow District voters to choose statehood and the same rights all of our constituents have to decide their own future and have a voice in Congress.”