|Rep. Tom Graves
The U.S. House on Thursday passed a spending bill that would block five laws affecting the District of Columbia, including the city’s new assisted-suicide law.
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting representative in Congress, must now rely on the Senate to not take up and approve identical measures. If the Senate does not act, it would effectively stall for another year congressional efforts to rein in the District through spending-related measures.
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the District, said Congress by law has extensive power over the District but has allowed the city to assume more power over time.
“The District of Columbia has plenty of autonomy,” he said in a floor debate Wednesday. “When it comes to spending, that is the role of Congress given to us through the U.S. Constitution.”