D.C.

D.C. Council pushes wants autonomy referendum

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The D.C. Council is hoping that voters will grant it the power to spend local tax dollars without Congressional approval.

Councilmember Phil Mendelson on Tuesday introduced an amendment to the District of Columbia charter that would grand the district its long-sought budget autonomy. All 11 councilmembers signed on as co-introducers.

The plan is to vote on the bill by December, which would put the referendum on the ballot during a special election this spring. If voters approve it, it would be up to Congress and the president to disapprove of their action.

But Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the district in Congress, issued a statement Tuesday indicating she doesn't support the referendum effort. She says she'll continue pushing to secure budget autonomy through a bill in Congress.

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