Norton Says Next OGR Chair Should Respect D.C. Home Rule


WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — As Congress prepares to come back from its spring recess tomorrow, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR), noted that OGR Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced during the recess that he would give up his seat, possibly before the end of this Congress.  Norton issued the following statement.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

“The expected change in the House Oversight and Government Committee’s leadership begins with a new administration, which will bring new issues of national concern to the Committee.  These issues typically require almost all of our committee’s time.  However, the Committee also has jurisdiction over the occasional federal matters affecting the District of Columbia, which must go through the Committee before going to the House floor.  Until the District achieves statehood, the Committee’s role on certain federal matters affecting the District cannot be avoided, but that should be the end of it.  This understanding has mostly been respected in the past by our Committee, and the Committee has historically minimized interference with local democracy in the District.

“During most of my service on OGR, I have been in the minority, and Republicans, such as former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and former OGR Chairmen Tom Davis (R-VA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA), respected the District’s right to govern itself, as Congress granted under the Home Rule Act of 1973.  Who could blame District residents, who pay the highest federal taxes per capita to support their government, for demanding the right to govern themselves on purely local matters?  We will continue to strongly insist on the District’s right to democratic self-government, free from congressional interference, on local matters.  I look forward to working with my colleagues as the 115th Congress continues.”

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