The House and Senate can’t agree on much of anything lately, and the District budget is no exception.
A Senate committee controlled by Democrats advanced a spending bill Thursday that would keep federal funding for D.C. at its current level and would not restrict government-provided abortions in the city, a stark difference from the Republican-authored measure that is making its way through the House.
Almost every year since 1996, Congress has prohibited the District from spending its own taxpayer funds to pay for abortions for low-income women. The House bill for fiscal 2014 would continue that ban while the Senate Appropriations Committee bill would not, setting up yet another clash over the issue whenever the two bills have to be reconciled.
The report accompanying the House bill also includes language making clear Republicans believe the budget autonomy referendum passed by District voters in April has no legal force, and is “an expression of the opinion of the residents, only” that does not reduce or alter Congress’s role in approving the District’s budget.