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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Urges Passage of Clean Appropriations Bill

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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today encouraged Members of Congress to pass a D.C. appropriations bill free of any social riders that would infringe on the city’s right to spend its local money the way it determines is best for the residents of the District of Columbia.

“Congress has too often restricted the ability of the District to provide numerous services and programs to our residents from lifesaving needle exchange programs to fight the spreads of HIV and AIDS to the full range of abortion and reproductive health services available to American women nationwide,” said Mayor Gray. “For far too long Congress has experimented on the city. Lawmakers should not impose their will on the District of Columbia through the federal budget process.”

House action on the appropriations bill is expected this week as trials are underway for dozens of residents arrested for civil disobedience while protesting in support of DC budget autonomy. Mayor Gray, who was arrested with the “DC 41” in April, today expressed solidarity with the people who are bravely standing up for the city’s rights.

The Mayor noted that the District of Columbia has passed a balanced budget for 16 consecutive years. “It is time for Congress to vote with, rather than against, the 600,000 Americans who call the nation’s capital home, and now is the time to honor local autonomy and full democracy,” he added.