WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — District government is the latest target of House Republicans.
On Friday, Rep. Andy Ogles, (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill to repeal the D.C. Home Rule Act. Reps. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) are co-sponsoring the bill.
The D.C. Home Rule Act was established by Congress in 1973 and created the current legislative body that’s in place. The District is led by a chairman and 12 council members who are elected by residents. Council passes legislation, but Congress must approve it.
Repealing the Home Rule Act would put Congress in charge of the District.
“DC is overrun with homicides, violent crime, drugs, homelessness, and riots,” Ogles stated on social media. “The Constitutional responsibility to keep our Nation’s capital safe for the people lies with Congress, not Mayor Bowser or the DC City Council. It’s time for Congress to reclaim its authority and repeal the DC Home Rule Act, which is exactly what my bill will do.”
“A D.C. run by Congress looks like a plantation because this is a majority brown and Black city. What I see is a bunch of non-minority leadership trying to dictate to us,” Rev. Wendy Hamilton, advocate for DC Statehood, said.
Hamilton said she wasn’t surprised by the legislation. She said the actions by Congress to interfere in District politics have only escalated.
Earlier this year, Congress voted to repeal the District’s Revised Criminal Code Amendment Act, which aimed to update a roughly century old criminal code. It also considered repealing police accountability legislation passed by council.
“This was never about crime. This was always about power. They’re using crime to be able to try and get a foothold in the city,” Hamilton said. “We don’t need any intervention from anyone from Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the latest legislation is misguided.
“We’ve heard those threats before,” Bowser said. “The discussion should not be about dismissing home rule but making D.C. the 51st state and until we become a state, we are always subject to the whims of legislators not elected by us.”