On Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 2:30pm the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affair’s Sub-Committee on the District of Columbia will hold a hearing about how the federal government shutdown in October 2013 affected the District of Columbia. While there are no opportunities for public witnesses testimony can be provided in writing to the sub-committee by emailing Jason Smith (Jason_Smith@hsgac.senate.gov). This is an opportunity for District citizens and supporters around the country to have our voice heard on the issue.
While the hearing is not on a specific bill it’s important that we advocate for a specific outcome. Of course we deserve budget autonomy which would have prevented many of the negative affects of the shutdown on the District but more importantly we deserve statehood to free us from the congressional budget process and to ensure we have our representatives weighing in on the federal budget as well.
District citizens should not have our local budget with $6+ billion in local revenues reviewed by Congress. District citizens should have full and equal congressional representation that takes part in the discussions of how our $20 billion in federal tax dollars is spent along with the federal revenues from the 50 states.
Budget autonomy is what we want but only as a part of the entire package that is S. 132, the New Columbia Admission Act. Our local tax dollars, budget, governments services, and the livelihoods of District government workers should not be in the hands of a body where we have no representation, Congress.
We all should submit comments on this important subject so that the committee understands that we don’t want just greater types of autonomy, rather we want and we deserve statehood.