On Legislative Issues
I have always supported the District handgun ban. I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision and I fear the Court decision will affect the District negatively. In the future, I will continue to strongly advocate for sensible restrictions on private gun ownership. I will continue to work hard to make sure that Congress doesn’t interfere with the home-rule process to impose a pro-gun agenda on a community already victimized by gun violence. Ultimately, removing the culture of guns and violence from our streets must become the DC government’s highest priority.
Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)
The DC Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) is an incredibly valuable District program that helps send DC students to the college of their choice. The program provides up to $10,000 a year for at least five years for all public universities and up to $2,500 a year for five years for Metropolitan area private colleges and historically black private colleges and universities nationwide.
DC Courts Funding
As an integral part of our city’s complex judicial system, the DC Courts need and require a great deal of federal funding. Every year, I fight to increase this funding as part of DC’s congressionally approved budget.
I have and will continue to oppose and prevent riders on our budget, provisions added to the legislation that are politically motivated and detrimental to the health of our city. I have and will continue to work with the two relevant senate committees, Appropriations and Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, in order to minimize intrusive oversight and congressional interference in DC. My experience in Congress and the relationships I have forged there, particularly within these committees, helps me further strengthen the fight for the District’s budget autonomy.
Ultimately, only statehood will make the District fully self-determining. Free from the control of a tyrannical Congress, the DC government would be able to focus on the District’s most pressing issues and allocate funding as it saw fit. Washington, DC would no longer be abused by members of Congress looking to test social programs, caught in the political crossfire of Capitol Hill. The citizens of the District deserve to govern themselves. This cannot be achieved through half-measures, such as the current state of home rule, and must be addressed in Congress.
I have aggressively fought Republican members of Congress’s attempts to impose a flat federal income tax on the District of Columbia. This is yet another situation in which DC would be abused as a “laboratory”, in the words of one Republican senator, to experiment with controversial legislation, and I will not stand for it.