Issa Introduces Budget Autonomy Bill
Rep. Darrell Issa's giving it another shot. The California Republican introduced another bill last night that would give the District some budget autonomy, and it passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today.
Issa's bill would allow the District to spend its own money if Congress hasn't passed a budget by the start of the fiscal year. That's not the full budget autonomy proposed in this April's successful referendum, but, providing Congress can't agree on a budget, it's getting there.
Issa's bill would also allow the District to set its own fiscal year and raise the chief financial officer's salary to up to $230,700.
Both Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Vince Gray issued statements supporting the bill, pending the bill's final language.
District politicians are so focused on the language because of what happened in 2011, the last time Issa tried to give the District budget autonomy. After a pro-life legislators attached a ban on District funding of abortions to the bill, Gray, Norton, and-then Council Chairman Kwame Brown opposed it.
Pro-life lobbyists who pushed for the abortion ban that was attached to Issa's last bill are back, too. National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson tells LL that he hasn't analyzed the bill yet, but plans to oppose any legislation that allows the District to fund abortions.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery