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D.C. Appleseed is the same group arguing against postponement of the election of an attorney general, which was also passed by referendum. But in that case the time frame for an election was outlined in the referendum language.

After the charter amendment takes effect, the budget will be adopted by the council in the same way as other bills, requiring two readings and a 30-day review period by Congress.

The D.C. Council has not readopted the budget under its new procedures and will have to do so before the charter amendment can take effect Jan. 1, Mr. Smith said. So if the council has to take action to make the amendment effective anyhow, it might as well move the date to get the city out of its current conundrum, he said.

“If Congress passes a continuing resolution this week then I think there will be less urgency in changing the date,” Mr. Smith said. “I believe so long as there is a good argument, and we can do it, we should do it.”