Graham proposes alcohol tax hike

Would close gap in budget without adding bar hours

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The Fair Budget Coalition and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless organized the protest, which largely consisted of homeless families who have been placed at the former D.C. General Hospital campus or in hotels.

Mr. Brown eventually directed officers to clear the room, after which demonstrators congregated in the lobby.

Mr. Graham said he does not support disruptions in the chamber, although he does “endorse the message I just heard.”

But Mr. Graham saw opposition from restaurant and lounge owners who stand to gain business from extended bar hours in the city. They said the extra hour will create a “soft closing” that allows crowds to dissipate gradually while producing a windfall for the city.

“This is going to help your industry, there’s no question about it,” Mr. Graham said, pushing back on their motives.

“No, we’re not going to go bankrupt,” Seyhan Duru, owner of Teatro Goldoni on K Street and Cities Restaurant and Lounge on 19th Street in Northwest, interjected.

At one point, Mr. Duru tried to strike a deal with Mr. Graham.

“If you keep me open another hour,” he said, “I’ll charge another 6 cents.”

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