WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The House is debating whether or not to approve two bills that were already approved by the DC Council. But leaders told DC News Now that Congress should not have control over what bills they pass.

DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb is calling out Congress saying that they should not be able to overturn the Local Residents Voting Rights Act and the Revised Criminal Code Act. He joined members of the DC Council as well as DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton who have all told Congress to keep their hands off of local issues.

“In my view, this isn’t about legislating or public safety. It’s really about political theater. It’s about using DC as a prop in the drama that is our national divisive, dysfunctional, hyper-partisan politics,” Attorney General Schwalb said.

Since the District is not a state, all bills passed must be reviewed by Congress. Last year, the council overrode the Mayor’s veto of the Revised Criminal Code. Schwalb said this should not allow Congress to question the bills or the Home Rule Act. This act gives local decision-making power back to lawmakers in the District.

“What it should show Congress and everybody watching is that the District of Columbia democracy is working exactly as designed where Council passes a piece of legislation after a tremendous amount of study and work, then the mayor choosing as the executive, should she wish to, to veto and the Council that having an opportunity to override the veto which happened,” Schwalb explained.

Residents in the District who spoke to DC News Now reporter Katie Rhee questioned why people who don’t represent them have a say in what happens.

“It can be really scary to hear that people are making decisions when they don’t spend their days, all the time, and all their hours in DC,” Capitol Hill resident Julia Ostrowski said. “I just hope that they really keep in mind the local perspective and they have the full picture of what the consequences could be of their actions.”

Deanwood resident Terrence Banks has lived in the District for over 30 years. He opposes the Congressional review and even wonders if his voice and vote are really being heard.

“But does my vote count if I pay my taxes, I live in the District, I go to where I’m supposed to go to vote but then the Congress overturns the vote that the people and I have voted for and they don’t live here? That don’t make no sense to me,” Banks said.

In a statement, the White House said that President Biden disagrees with the moves to overturn the two laws and said in part, “For far too long, more than 700,000 residents of Washington DC have been deprived of self-governance in the US Congress.” But despite this statement, the two bills still must be voted on by Congress.