While I am relieved that Congress reached an agreement so that our employees can work and services to our residents can continue, I am also angry and terribly disappointed that the District of Columbia suffered collateral damage amidst partisan bickering.
According to news reports, two riders contained in the budget deal impinge on the District of Columbia’s autonomy. One limits our ability to fund, using our own money, reproductive services for low-income women; another imposes a continued school-voucher program on the District. If these reports are correct, then the District of Columbia’s right to govern itself has, once again, been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
This is ludicrous. While one rider purports to provide educational aid to children in need, the other takes away desperately needed aid from poor women. Hypocrisy is alive and well in the United States Congress.
This indignity comes on top of the fact that no other state or jurisdiction had to endure the hardship of planning to shut down a municipal government, thus spending valuable resources and personnel on a process that never should have been necessary.
The United States Congress ought to do what is morally right and grant the residents of the District of Columbia -- who pay more than $5 billion in taxes annually -- the right of full citizenship and budget autonomy.
DC residents from all wards of the city should express their outrage, as I have, over the colonial status of the District of Columbia. Congress needs to fix this once and for all, so that our city government can spend its valuable human and fiscal resources on the issues facing our city without partisan congressional meddling.