House Republicans want to intervene in D.C. traffic
Congressional Republicans want to end traffic camera tickets, stop D.C. from banning right turns on red, and continue outlawing the tax and sale of marijuana.
Why it matters: House Republicans this week are threatening to intervene in D.C. again via the budget process, and this time they have some very particular issues in mind.
What's happening: Take traffic, for example. D.C. wants to ban by 2025 all right turns on red, citing pedestrian safety, but if successful the GOP would block that law from taking effect.
- Traffic enforcement cameras would also be on the chopping block, just as the city aims to increase their numbers from 140 to 500.
- Camera tickets bring in a lot of money, so snuffing them out would also unbalance the city's newly approved budget.
Zoom out: The budget language proposed by the House GOP also cuts $20 million in emergency planning and security for D.C., cuts HIV/AIDS testing and treatment by $1 million, and "fails to fund the full needs of our Court system by $143.8 million," according to D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson.
- It would repeal the Death with Dignity law that allows terminally ill people to end their life.
- And would prohibit any abortion funding via local or federal dollars.
What they're saying: "They do not make the District safer, nor do they make sound fiscal sense," Mayor Muriel Bowser, chair Mendelson, and Attorney General Brian Schwalb wrote in a letter to the House Thursday.
What's next: A House Appropriations subcommittee approved the bill Thursday morning, moving it to a full committee vote, per the Washington Post.
Thought bubble: Even if all these items don’t succeed, it sets up the possibility that local D.C. laws are again on the bargaining table.
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