Norton Says Expected New Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy’s Record of Fairness to D.C. Home Rule Prepares Him to Chair OGR

WASHINGTON, D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today responded to the announcement that Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has been recommended by the Republican Steering Committee as the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR), which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, and that he is expected to be confirmed in that role by a vote of the full Republican Caucus next week. Norton said that if Representative Gowdy (R-SC) operates as OGR chairman as he has in the past, she believes he will respect D.C.’s right to govern itself without congressional interference in the city’s local affairs. Norton said that Chairman Gowdy, whom she considers a friend, has generally respected D.C. home rule during his congressional career, including when he chaired the OGR subcommittee with jurisdiction over the District. He has never introduced a bill to block or overturn a local D.C. law.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

However, he has cosponsored legislation reflecting Republican ideology to block abortions after 20 weeks in D.C. and cosponsored a national anti-choice bill that would, among other things, permanently prohibit D.C. from spending its local funds on abortions for low-income women. In a 2011 interview, after becoming chairman of the OGR subcommittee with jurisdiction over D.C., Gowdy said, “I’m going to provide oversight. I’ll do it fairly, I’ll do it completely, but I’m not interested in being the mayor of the District of Columbia or the overlord or the overseer or whatever else they want to call it.”

“While Chairman Gowdy may face pressure from interest groups to overturn D.C. laws, his record makes me hopeful that he will stick to his principles and prior approach,” Norton said. “Trey Gowdy has been an open-minded and fair Member when it comes to D.C. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss areas that we can work together during this Congress.”

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