The White House delighted Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other local officials and activists when it announced last month that the city’s “Taxation Without Representation” plates would be placed on the presidential motorcade. But Gray is afraid that President Obama’s embrace of the District voting-rights crusade may end there.
Gray said he thought it was unlikely Obama would indulge his follow-up request — to mention a local D.C. issue in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
“I had talked to the administration about putting something about budget autonomy in the State of the Union speech, and it has not been well-received, I can tell you that,” Gray said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors Thursday. “I don’t expect to see anything.”
Gray declined to identify which administration official he had spoken to about the speech.
The Obama administration has previously supported budget autonomy — a change to the District charter that would give the city greater freedom to spend locally raised tax dollars without congressional approval — inserting a statement into the last presidential budget request.