WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Republicans in the U.S. House examining whether the District of Columbia can spend local tax dollars without congressional approval (all times local):
House Republicans are considering legislation that would block the District of Columbia from spending its local tax dollars without the approval of Congress.
Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said Tuesday that lawmakers are working on a bill to clarify the requirement that the city submit its local budget to Congress.
In more than 40 years of self-rule, the District has always waited for Congress to sign off on its budget. But city leaders planned to go ahead and spend local tax dollars this year without taking that step. City voters approved what's known as a "budget autonomy" referendum in 2013.
But Meadows says the budget autonomy law is invalid and that city leaders could even face criminal prosecution for spending money before Congress says it's OK.
House Republicans are looking into whether the District of Columbia government truly has the power to spend local tax dollars without approval by Congress.
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser has pledged not to submit this year's local budget to Congress after a judge ruled in favor of the District's so-called "budget autonomy" law.
The arcane issue of how and when the city can spend its money is a big deal to advocates of home rule, who say the local government should not be treated like a federal agency.
But Republican leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan have cast doubt on whether the city had the authority to take power away from Congress. An oversight subcommittee will examine the issue at a hearing Thursday.