- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2016

D.C. leaders renewed Monday their annual call for Congress to refrain from attaching riders to the federal budget that would specifically target local laws.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said this year is especially important because the city is exercising its budget autonomy is sending to Congress for approval only the federal portion of its budget.

For the first time, the portion of the budget funded by local taxes will simply be passed by the D.C. Council and not sent for congressional review.

“Even before the city embarks on its budget autonomy and statehood strategies, Republicans are responding as never before because they see budget autonomy as an achievable threat,” Ms. Norton, the District’s nonvoting representative in Congress, said at a Monday press conference.

In previous years, Congress has targeted the District’s strict gun laws, the commercialization of marijuana and abortions for low-income women.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser used the press conference to again press for statehood.

“We’re going to have this fight time and time again until the District becomes a state,” she said.

Ms. Bowser also chided Congress for continually slapping down the idea that the District should be able to tax and regulate marijuana sales.

“It leaves us in the untenable position of not being able to tax and regulate marijuana in our city. It must stop,” she said.

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