The battle between the Hill and Washington D.C. has already lasted for one frenzied week. I tried to make sense of it all with Kristen Hinman, the mid-Atlantic bureau chief for Axios Local, for this week’s politics column.
Kristen: By attempting to roll back the criminal code bill this week, D.C. politicians certainly appeared to be caving in to federal Washington. What was the purpose of that?
Cuneyt: I began receiving texts from insiders at the Wilson Building over the weekend informing me that D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson was considering doing something that had never been done before: withdrawing a local measure from Congress. But I was incredibly dubious. How can D.C. simply cancel a bill and claim it will be done over? D.C. must submit its bills to Congress for consideration. That was still playing.
Cuneyt: Hill officials assured reporters that the vote was still going through before Republicans and Democrats quickly called Bullshit. The office of Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) informs me that the disapproval resolution is anticipated to move forward on Wednesday.
According to one school of thought, Senate leadership can move the final vote to Thursday so that President Biden can quietly sign the bill into law on Friday.
What might Congress demand next, Kristen?
Cuneyt: There is a lot of worry among people in Washington, D.C., that it will be the local budget.
Mendelson expressed concerns to the Wall Street Journal that politicians would intervene to halt the designation of a street honoring Marion Barry.
Whoa, Kristen. That reminds me of D.C. a long time ago, before home rule.
Reported that a House GOP committee is talking about meddling in our election rules. And there’s currently a resolution in the Senate to block a bill allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.
I’m told it has a much narrower chance of passing, for some arcane procedural reasons. But noncitizen voting in D.C. could still get blocked through a budget rider later.