This bill would repeal the Budget Autonomy Act, a local law passed by the District of Columbia's city council, signed by the D.C. mayor, and approved by its voters in 2012 and 2013.
In particular, the bill would clarify that all funds provided for D.C. must be appropriated by Congress.
The Budget Autonomy Act gives the city the authority to reduce the federal government's role in its budget process, by altering the federal District of Columbia Home Rule Act. The Home Rule Act was a 1973 compromise that granted limited self-government to Washington, D.C. — it allowed the city to elect a mayor and city council — but retained the authority of the U.S. Congress to review and approve the city’s laws and budget, and required the District to submit its budget to the President.
Rep. Mark Meadows’ (R-NC) bill, known as the Clarifying Congressional Intent in Providing for D.C. Home Rule Act, declares Washington, D.C.’s Budget Autonomy Act to have no legal effect, since it goes against the federal Home Rule Act. Meadows’ bill states that the Home Rule Act gives Congress constitutional power to pass legislation over the District, as well as “constitutional power of the purse.”
Meadows’ bill concludes that it would be illegal for Washington, D.C. employees to follow through with the Budget Autonomy Act and spend local tax dollars without Congressional approval, or create budgets without submitting them to the President.
His bill would repeal D.C.'s Budget Autonomy Act and amend the Home Rule Act to make the federal government’s role in Washington D.C.’s budget procedures more explicit.