Holmes Norton blasts Republicans for possible shutdown, effects on DC

As she spoke, Republicans from both the House and Senate were negotiating a 2012 spending package, which the House is expected to approve Friday, before the shutdown deadline. A Senate vote is expected soon thereafter.

Under current law, the Congress must approve the District of Columbia's budget, even though it is based on revenues collected from within the district. Holmes Norton has argued repeatedly that this approval requirement should be abolished and did so today.

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"We are talking about local money, money raised in the District of Columbia, not a penny of it from this chamber," she said. "By what rights do you tell us anything about how to spend that money, particularly when that money is spent legally and constitutionally?"

She also criticized Republicans for failing to pass a jobs bill this year, a criticism that Republicans have responded to by saying they have passed several deregulation bills that would help foster a pro-jobs environment.

"This Republican Congress has no major legislation to show for a year's worth of work," she said. "The do-nothing 112th Congress has no major bill to its credit, no signature to take home, but it does leave an infamous signature: that it was able to bully a medium-sized city in America because of some left over jurisdiction over its local affairs."

After Holmes Norton spoke, the House adjourned subject to the call of the chair. The House is expected to return Friday at 9 a.m. to approve the 2012 spending bill.

A vote seemed possible Saturday in the House and Senate on a bill to extend the payroll tax cut holiday and unemployment insurance.