Financial Services Chairman Ander Crenshaw Statement on H.J. Res. 71, the Local Funding for DC Act
October 2, 2013 -
On October 2, House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw spoke on the House floor in support of H.J. Res. 71, the Local Funding for DC Act. The bill passed the House on a voice vote.
Chairman Crenshaw's statement follows:
"Mr. Speaker, I bring to the Floor today a continuing resolution which is narrow in scope and allows the District of Columbia to spend their local funds.
"Yesterday this legislation failed to get a two thirds majority under suspension of rules but was supported by a majority of the Members of the House by a vote of 265 to 163. I believe many of the Members that voted against this legislation actually support the District being able to spend their local funds but voted against the bill simply to oppose any actions taken by House Republicans to fund all or parts of the government.
"The Congresswoman from the District of Columbia wants the District to have access to their locally raised funds and it is unfortunate that many of her Democratic colleagues did not support this bill yesterday. The other side-of-the-aisle likes to say that Republicans meddle in the District’s local affairs too much. However, yesterday they voted to prevent the District from accessing their own local funds.
"Due to the City’s unique status as a Federal City, Congress must appropriate their locally raised funds before the City can spend them. The District of Columbia’s local government passed their own fiscal year 2014 local budget. The Mayor presented a budget to the City Council which the Council considered and the City’s independent CFO certified as balanced. As such, the District’s locally raised funds should not be withheld from them during the current Federal shutdown. The disagreement that Republicans and Democrats are having over Federal spending should not stop the District from using its locally raised revenues like any other city in the country.
"This CR provides the District of Columbia with their local funds through December 15th under the same terms and conditions as fiscal year 2013.
"In 1996, a Republican Congress enacted a stand-alone DC local funds continuing resolution that is very similar to this one here. It was acceptable to President Clinton then and oddly only unacceptable to Democrats today.
"School teachers, policemen, firemen, garbage collectors, librarians and all City employees paid with local revenues should not be furloughed or go without their pay check. Fixing pot holes, street lights and other basic municipal services should continue. The day-to-day lives of DC citizens should not degrade because Congress and the Administration cannot agree on a budget.
"Despite the multiple attempts by the House of Representatives to fund the federal government, we are here on day two of a government shutdown. I wish the Senate would take up our offer to have a Conference on funding the entire Federal government. That would make this bill here unnecessary. However, Democrats are opposing all of our offers to fund the entire Federal government and yesterday even opposed allowing DC to spend their local funds.
"This bill fulfills our responsibilities under the law to appropriate the District of Columbia’s local funds. I urge adoption of the resolution and reserve the balance of my time."