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“We’ve lost any ability to be objective and rational,” he said.

In other business, Mr. Evans introduced legislation that would eliminate the council’s review of city contracts worth more than $1 million. He said the proposal would keep the contracts insulated from legislative meddling, a key point of contention among reformers who want to end pay-to-play politics in the city, and lawmakers could still request copies of the contract and hold public hearings on them.

“We should go right to the source of the problem,” Mr. Evans said. “And the council’s contract review is, in my view, in many ways the source of the problem.”

Council member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, introduced legislation that would study all forms of gambling for potential legalization in the District in response to efforts in surrounding jurisdictions — namely, casinos in Maryland. He said revenue from potential gambling should be dedicated to educational programs in the city.
Mr. Evans co-introduced the measure, but warned it does not establish any kind of gambling.

Mr. Barry also introduced a bill that would restore in-person visitation rights to family and friends of inmates at the city jail, after officials recently switched over to a video-only system that critics say diminishes the quality of contact between incarcerated persons and those on the outside.