Jan 10, 2024 - News
Town Talker

Scoop: Congress revising with D.C. RFK Stadium bill

Animated illustration of a football field with slices of the field reorganizing as if it were a list.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The congressional bill that would allow D.C. to build a new football stadium at RFK is undergoing unspecified revisions, the House Oversight Committee tells Axios.

Why it matters: D.C. needs Congress to approve the bill extending RFK's lease to the city in order to build a new neighborhood over 190 acres that could potentially house a Washington Commanders stadium.

What I'm hearing: It's taken the House a little bit longer than expected to move the bill. The Oversight Committee last took a Sept. 20 markup vote.

  • "House Oversight Committee staff are actively working on revising bill text in a bipartisan fashion in full coordination with the D.C. government," Austin Hacker, a spokesperson for the committee, said in a statement. "We remain hopeful that a path forward in the House can be found in the coming month."
  • The committee, chaired by Republican Rep. James Comer, and Mayor Muriel Bowser declined to offer details on the revisions. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's office didn't respond to an email.

The big picture: This comes as Josh Harris has begun removing the last vestiges of the Dan Snyder regime, beginning the rebuild of Washington's football franchise.

  • Much rests on Harris picking the right replacements and the right location for a new stadium — a process that, as we just witnessed with Ted Leonsis, can divide the region like no other.

Catch up fast: The 99-year lease extension would jumpstart development.

  • Bowser has doubled down on bringing the Commanders back to D.C, while Maryland and Virginia are also vying for the team.

Between the lines: The deal has produced a group of interesting bedfellows.

  • The conservative Comer is on Bowser's side in favor of an RFK deal.
  • But Maryland Democrats Jamie Raskin and Kweisi Mfume — possibly motivated by keeping the team in their state — supported in September a provision from Republican Rep. Scott Perry to block public funds for a new sports stadium. The amendment ultimately failed.

What I'm watching: Hacker said more information would be available in the coming week or two.

💭 Everyone's waiting on RFK. Town Talker is a weekly column on local money and power. Send your tips to [email protected]


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