The following was written by PoPville contributor David McAuley, founder of Short Articles about Long Meetings.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (Right) Photo by David McAuley
“I am having a ball now with Marco Rubio,” Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton told Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E/Shaw at its regularly-scheduled monthly meeting last night (March 6).
Norton started her ANC talk by saying she had stopped three Congressional attempts to eliminate DC’s gun safety laws in the last year, after which she made the remark about Rubio. Norton then went on to say that she was accused of skirting Congressional practice concerning member-to-member courtesy and decorum in her criticism of Rubio. However, Norton said, she wanted to remind that Rubio introduced a bill (just prior to his 2015 Presidential run) that, among other things, would have overturned the District’s ban on assault weapons. Immediately after the bill’s introduction, Norton said, Rubio’s National Rifle Association rating went from “B+” to “A”.
“I’m simply calling him out,” Norton said. “The opportunism there is so raw.”
Norton’s talk and subsequent question-and-answer session ranged across a number of topics, including Norton’s role in securing funding for improvement of the Southwest waterfront and the development of the former site of St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Southeast as a collection of buildings housing federal government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
Norton also said she was “feeling good” about the 2018 elections.
“If the House turns over, I will be a committee chair,” Norton said.
However, she cautioned: “I’m not telling you that, if the House and Senate flip, we will get statehood.”
Norton criticized Trump’s recent proposal to put tariffs on aluminum and steel.
“He has started a trade war and he has said that trade wars are good,” Norton said. “He doesn’t know and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t take his briefing. Do you know what it takes to run a steel mill today? About 14 people.”
During the question-and-answer session, a real estate professional in the audience asked Norton about the status of the FBI’s search for a new headquarters.
“We are stuck on stupid now on the FBI building,” Norton said. “I think the Republicans are too embarrassed to hold hearings.”
Near the end of her talk, Norton returned to gun violence. She mentioned that a recent House proposal legalizing “concealed carry” in the District had 80 co-sponsors. Norton urged the audience to stay engaged with the protest activities led by the Parkland teenage activists.
“When you see what these children are doing, embrace them,” Norton said. “It matters to have these articulate 14-, 15-, 16-year-olds saying ‘Don’t kill us’.”