Shutdown Avoided with DC Riders Attached to Budget

Photo by PoPville flickr user Brandon Kopp

The Post reports:

The spending deal agreed to Friday night to avert a government shutdown includes a provision banning the District from spending its own funds to provide abortions to low-income women as well as funding to continue a controversial school voucher program.

Leading Democrats said repeatedly in the hours leading up to the deal that they would not accept a larger prohibition on federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and they appear to have been successful in that goal. But District activists have feared for weeks that Democrats might concede on the D.C. ban in order to pave the way for excluding the Planned Parenthood ban.

@mayorvincegray tweets:

“Anti-DC-autonomy riders on budget bill on abortion rights, vouchers shameful violation of our right to govern ourselves.”

49 Comment

  • With the extremely poor way this city is managed (sometimes quite shamefully), I’d say, we should barely expect Congress to protect our rights to govern ourselves.

    • This is such tiresome bullshit. First of all, democratic rights aren’t some sort of favor to be bestowed on Americans who prove their worthiness. Secondly, DC is in better budgetary shape than either Maryland or Virginia, not to mention 37 other states.

      Obviously, we have lots of challenges, many of them arising from our unique status, but to claim that’s a reason to deny us the fundamental right of our country is ridiculous.

      • We’re in a better financial state because the City Council is afraid of Congress taking over if they don’t act semi responsibly, not because of some inherent tendency of the local politicians towards altruism.

        Ergo, the only reason we’re in such good shape is because of Congress’s oversight.

        • Umm – not really.

          The only reason anything even goes remotely right around here is because of the TREMENDOUS investment that’s now in the city. You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think Developers like Jemal and Miller have more impact on what goes on in the city than the council does.

        • You’re talking about the income side of the equation, I’m talking about the expenditures. Your statement isn’t even part of the discussion.

          Jamal caused more blight than anyone in the history of DC. He’s like that guy who buys you flowers after beating the crap out of you.

    • If mismanagement, corruption, and horrible politicians being elected was criteria for usurping a populace of their right to self-governance, every single congressional district that elected a “Shut it down” Teabagger would lose their right to elect their own representative.

      DC has its problems, but the way congress acted in the last few weeks makes Marion Berry look like a fucking statesman.

      • Amen. How many millions of dollars did the government spend this past month preparing for a shutdown? And when’s the last time the DC government nearly closed over a budget fight (of our own, not the feds’)?

      • + 100000000000000000000000000000000000000

  • So horrible that those wretched inner-city kids get funding to attend private schools. What a travesty!!

    • So horrible for Congress to steal money from public schools to subsidize religious institutions.

      So horrible for Congress to dictate to a municipality how they have to spend their money.

      So horrible for Congress to cloak a social agenda in a budget dispute.

      • Amen. Yet again a reminder of how congresspeople from far away think they know what is best for DC – even if their beliefs are in direct opposition to the views of the mayor and congressperson elected by the citizens of DC.

      • +100 – wow my captcha is HKKK

      • LOL, I guess “religious institutions” like Sidwell where Obama’s kids go. DC schools are such a model of excellence. What a joke.

        • Sidwell Friends was founded by Quakers but Boehner’s wet dream is that these kids will go to Catholic school.

          Here’s your joke: Our household income is in the bracket that will see a tax hike with Gray’s new budget–and hey, I’m happy to pay more to get more. But some asshole who doesn’t even live here just decided that spending my tax dollars on parochial school for a few kids is more worthwhile than improving PUBLIC school for all kids.

          Oh yeah. LOL. Fucking hilarious.

          What happened to that bullshit line about “getting government out of the way”???

          • Stop crying and move to Maryland then.

          • DC’s had 30+ years to fix their schools and they only started turning for the better when Fenty came in and threatened the teacher’s jobs.

            Sounds like DC needs to be under congress.

          • i’m starting to think that the pro-fenty people have no sense of reality at all.

          • Go Michelle!!

            There’s nothing more aggravating than those who say “you don’t deserve self rule”. If that were the case – most of the country would be under congressional rule. Moreover, it doesn’t exactly seem like congress has anywhere to stand on the competence issue either. They can barely keep their own shit together!

        • Sidwell Friends doesn’t get Federal Tax Dollars. Who cares what they do?

    • Right, so they can get a lame second rate education from a Religious institution instead of a Public one – bonus: they can get an education from an institution free to discriminate (in admissions and hiring!).

  • I’m willing to sacrifice a few things here and there, so that the systematic, deliberate plan to eliminate poor black babies from the population may continue unabated.

  • I feel confident the republicans will fund all the neccesary social programs to help unwanted children such as food stamps, health insurance, head start, housing vouchers, etc or to stop the unwanted pregnancies in the first place such as providing easy free access to birth control.

    • Really? I’d like to believe the republicans will show compassion and will fund these social programs. But experience has proven otherwise.

      Tax breaks for the wealthy? Of course
      Tax breaks for large corporations? You betcha
      Funding head start, access to health care for poor women, clean air? Not important.

  • It’s longstanding federal law that federal tax dollars cannot be used to provide abortions. What makes this whole thing so maddening is that the federal government is telling us that we can’t do what we want with DC tax money. All that said, I’d like to know how this is really going to affect people. It’s easy to cry about this, but Poon would like to see some data for past years where this rider has been included in the budget. My hunch is that very few people will be affected. Could be wrong.

    As for school vouchers, Poon has his opinions. Opposing them seems bizarre. The argument against it seems to be the same one that people have been making since our schools began to decline: public schools need more money. But Poon watched Waiting for Superman and he knows that DC spends more money per pupil than anyone in the galaxy. I don’t really see how vouchers hurt anyone aside from teachers unions. Perhaps they’re hurting kids in wealthy New Hampshire neighborhoods, where the federal tax money comes from.

    • Agreed that one can argue whether the policies that Republicans are riding into the budget deal are harmful or helpful to the District on the whole.

      But irrespective of that, it’s unjust and hypocritical that a party full of supposed states’ rights fanatics is so eager to foist their social agenda on a jurisdiction that has no political means to fight back and would very likely not vote their platform if given the opportunity.

      I have no idea where it sits on a global spectrum of injustice, but would guess that it’s a uniquely undemocratic practice among those developed countries that call themselves “democracies”.

    • “Poon watched Waiting for Superman”

      If that dishonest piece of crap is the basis for Poon’s stated views on vouchers/public school funding, Poon has serious credibility problems.

      • The only bigger lie than ‘waiting for superman’, is that WTU teachers put DC students first.

        The WTU needs to be decertified.

      • Poon is always amused when self-described “progressives” defend the status quo.

        Oh the irony. Poon loves irony.

  • The only power we have is the power of disruption and confrontation.

    The people who wield ultimate power over DC are members of Congress. And we’re not their constituents, so we can’t exert political power over them.

    But we do have the power to make their lives miserable during the large part of the year they spend in our city. Like the Boehner-trash action… we’re here, and while they’re here we have the ability to confront them. Make noise. Make things loud, or smelly, or ugly — whatever it takes within the bounds of the law and principles of nonviolence to make them realize that taking away our autonomy will have consequences.

    We just need real organizers to help us make that happen. The idiot community organizers in this city couldn’t punch their way out of a paper bag.

    • The “ultimate power over DC” is, actually, held by the voters who elect the members of Congress. Therefore, if any “trash action” is going to take place it should rightly be directed toward the addresses listed on the voter rolls of each congressional district of each state. We should avoid, however, the addresses that correspond with cemeteries in the deep blue districts; we wouldn’t want to anger the Democrat party’s most reliable voter base.

      • I think you left out the corporations that pay for their campaigns during the elections that are set up to make those people believe they have a choice. But do we really want to target big corporations? They’re the real base of the Republican Party.

        Ah, but I digress.

        Besides, the constituents of the congressmen who control our fate don’t give a damn about us. Why the congressmen care about DC is beyond me. But they’re using our home to play with their favored ideas. And as long as we lack real self-rule, the only meaningful option we have to build power is to focus on those congressmen and make them realize they can’t just play around with us. The only real power we have over them is the power to make them feel lousy while they are in DC, and tell them we won’t stop making them uncomfortable until we get what we want.

        • They’re also the base of the Democratic Party, but you may have been too young for the Clinton years.

      • Someone’s been watching a little too much Fox News, I see.

  • bfinpetworth

    Time to take to the streets. Form a human barrier around the Capitol to remind them of who lives here. Make them cross OUR line! This is BS that cannot be allowed to stand.

  • Saturday night nice and easy turndown service with some Bossa Nova by Elis Regina with “Águas de Março” from the 1960’s:

    The all time best of singer of Brazil, Elis Regina died at age 36.

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