Norton expressed skepticism about the constitutional and legal standing of a referendum on D.C. budget autonomy, but she is holding off on commenting until receiving clarity from the House’s and Senate’s parliamentary offices.
Fiscal 2015 would likely begin on July 1, 2014, speculated D.C. Council Budget Director Jennifer Budoff. She emphasized that the city had plenty of time for planning and preparations and that the budget would still be subject to “strong fiscal management” under budget autonomy, including a prohibition on deficit spending, limits on borrowing and a mandate that the budget be balanced.
Budoff also hopes “legal issues” will be worked out before the city proceeds.
But potential congressional actions are hard to predict.
“We do not speculate on potential future actions by the committee or by Congress,” said Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for House Appropriations Committee Republicans.
DC Appleseed Executive Director Walter Smith, a legal architect of the referendum, said it would be “kind of hard to see how there could be a penalty on the District because it enforces the law ... but that doesn’t mean that Congress couldn’t find some kind of way later to undo the legislation.”
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.