Activists launched a campaign to mobilize voter turnout for a referendum to give D.C. budget autonomy.
Meanwhile, others are concerned about the legality, including D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan and GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the chairman of the D.C.-focused Oversight and Government Reform Committee who has been the budget autonomy champion on Capitol Hill.
If the charter amendment passes, they say, it could come under fire for illegally attempting to circumvent Congressí inherent control over the D.C. budget, as well as violating the act that forbids D.C. from spending funds before they are appropriated, in this case by Congress.
A better approach, they argue, would be to continue pushing a budget autonomy measure in Congress, where it would certainly not run afoul of any laws.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.