- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
Issa agrees to ‘freeze’ legislation on D.C. hiring practices
Question of the Day
Rep. Darrell E. Issa has agreed to "freeze" legislation that would impose background checks and other guidelines for vetting D.C. employees in the wake of nepotism scandals that hit city hall earlier this year.
Mr. Issa agreed to hold off on his bill, which D.C. officials decried Monday as more congressional meddling in their affairs, after council Chairman Kwame R. Brown reached out to him Tuesday morning.
Mr. Brown assured Mr. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, that city officials would move forward in the next two months to enact their own reform of how city employees are vetted and hired.
The officials had a "good exchange" and "agreed that we both wanted the same outcome," Mr. Brown said.
"I think that's a perfect example of the council and Congress working together in areas that can move the city forward," Mr. Brown said.
Mr. Issa had planned to mark up the bill, which imposes criminal background checks on political appointees and puts city vetting in line with the process for federal employees, on Thursday.
D.C. officials objected, noting their own legislation imposes just as many, if not more, safeguards than Mr. Issa's bill.
The proposal coincided with the release of a report by Mr. Issa's oversight committee on allegations made by Sulaimon Brown, a minor mayoral candidate who claims Mayor Vincent C. Gray and his advisers paid him and promised him a job to disparage incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty during the campaign.
The committee found no direct evidence of a job promise but did criticize the vetting of Mr. Brown before he was hired to a $110,000-a-year job at the city Department of Health Care Finance.
A spokesman for the House committee confirmed Tuesday that Mr. Issa agreed to give D.C. officials time to reform their own practices.
The pact is a rare instance of cooperation between Congress and the D.C. Council, which is always wary of federal interference in local affairs by officials on Capitol Hill.
Before the deal, council member Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, had planned to introduce a resolution that condemns Mr. Issa's bill.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's nonvoting member of Congress, is a frequent critic of federal interference in local affairs and first sounded the alarm about Mr. Issa's bill on Monday afternoon.
Mr. Gray, Mrs. Norton and Mr. Brown, the chairman, were among officials who protested the District's lack of voting rights at a recent rally ahead of the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Contrasting judgments on Obama's health care hours apart; appeals court calls subsidies unlawful
- New Democratic caucus will pressure GOP governors to expand Medicaid
- Insurers cough up refunds to subscribers under Obamacare ‘80-20 rule’
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq