Republican: Abolish the federal income tax for DC residents

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has introduced legislation to eliminate the federal income tax for residents of Washington, D.C. until they have a full voting representative in Congress.

The D.C. delegate can vote in committee and introduce bills, but cannot vote on the House floor.

Gohmert argued that requiring residents of Washington, D.C. to pay federal income taxes amount to “taxation without representation,” a rallying cry for the American Revolution.

{mosads}”It is the fair, just and right thing to do,” Gohmert said in a statement.

The Texas Republican firebrand compared D.C. to other U.S. territories with non-voting delegates in Congress that don’t pay federal income taxes.

“After looking at the situation of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, or Samoa, I found that the residents there paid local taxes, but none paid federal income tax. It occurred to me after researching the situation still further that until, when or if the citizens of Washington, D.C. have a full voting representative, they should not have to pay any federal income tax,” Gohmert said.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), through a spokesman, expressed appreciation for Gohmert’s idea, but warned that exempting D.C. residents from the federal income tax would cause the city to lose federal funding as if it were a state. She urged Gohmert and other lawmakers to support simply making D.C. a state.

“While the Congresswoman is sure Congressman Gohmert means well, and she understands that cutting taxes is in keeping with his tax-cutting priorities, the best way for him and his congressional colleagues to ‘do the right thing by the citizens of the District of Columbia’ is to cosponsor our bill, the New Columbia Admission Act, to make D.C. the 51st state. Only through statehood will D.C. residents have the full and equal rights of the citizens living in Congressman Gohmert’s home state of Texas,” Norton spokesman Ben Fritsch said.

The Northwest Current, a local D.C. paper, asked candidates for an open D.C. council seat in 2013 if they supported exempting residents from the federal income tax. All of the candidates opposed the idea.

Norton often fights back against proposals from Republican lawmakers affecting the District.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) recently introduced a bill to eliminate D.C.’s assault weapons ban. And next week, the House Oversight Committee will vote on a resolution disapproving of a D.C. law prohibiting workplace discrimination based on reproductive health choices.

But Gohmert’s measure appears to offer a contrast to many Republican bills targeting D.C. that Norton believes undermine the city.

Gohmert previously introduced the measure in the last Congress, but it did not receive any legislative action. But he also introduced a bill in 2013 that would cede the District of Columbia to Maryland. It likewise never gained any traction.

This story was updated at 8:04 p.m.

Tags Eleanor Holmes Norton Louie Gohmert
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