WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today blasted Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) for wasting no time in introducing a bill yesterday to use congressional power to interfere with and alter the District of Columbia’s local occupational licensing laws. Meadows’ bill (H.R. 6312) targets occupational licensing laws in the District, military bases, and certain national parks. The bill also requires the D.C. Council to create a legislative committee or subcommittee on occupational regulations. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced an identical bill (S. 3158) in the Senate earlier this year.
“As chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the District, Representative Meadows has repeatedly sought to undermine and overrule the District’s home-rule rights and impose upon the city his own political agenda,” Norton said. “As a founding member of the so-called Freedom Caucus, Representative Meadows constantly touts local control over local affairs, but abandons that creed when it comes to the District. Decisions about local laws concerning occupational licensing must be made by local elected officials, who are accountable to residents, unlike Members of Congress. The District is in the process of reviewing its occupational licensing laws. The city deserves the time to enact its own response to interest in the city in revising the current requirements. As I offered to Senator Mike Lee when he introduced this identical bill, I would be happy to help facilitate a meeting with D.C.’s mayor and members of the D.C. Council for Mr. Meadows to offer his suggestions.”
Meadows is the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations, which has jurisdiction over D.C. This is the third anti-home-rule bill Meadows has introduced this year, and the fourth since he came to Congress in 2013. In May, Meadows introduced a bill to repeal the referendum passed overwhelmingly by D.C. voters in 2013 that granted the District budget autonomy. That Meadows bill also prohibited the District from passing any budget autonomy legislation in the future. So far, Norton has been able to keep the referendum from being overturned. In February, Meadows introduced a radical bill to force the District to direct its local funds away from the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools toward vouchers for any student who chooses to attend private schools.