D.C.’s delegate to Congress is bristling at a Republican congressman comparing District residents who voted for budget autonomy to kids.
In a Tuesday special election, residents overwhelmingly approved a measure to spend local tax dollars without approval of the federal government, even though voter turnout was less than 10 percent.
Congress could pass a disapproval resolution to stop it, but the charter amendment may end up in court regardless.
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, compared it to giving kids reign over funds.
“Well, when my kids were young teenagers, they always wanted budget autonomy too,” said Mica after a hearing.
“As long as they are minding their P’s and Q’s, so to say, I think the government can back off. But we must remain vigilant.”
“Because I know John Mica well and could not verify the full remarks, I placed a phone call to him, but he was not in. As of this evening, I have not heard from him, but I will certainly make every attempt to speak with him,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said.
“At the hearing, on an unused federal building in D.C., Representative Mica apparently made mention of the city’s budget surplus, and said that the federal government was ‘bankrupt.’ It was surprising to have the reporter indicate that Representative Mica referred to the District and District residents as ‘kids’ and ‘young teenagers,’” Norton continued. “John has been a friend and even when we have disagreed, he has never been patronizing or insulting. Therefore, I would like to ask him whether these were in fact his words. If so, I would hope he would explain them or express regret.”