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Mr. BARNES. Thank you, Mr. Hechinger. I'm sure Congressman Fauntroy and other members of the committee appreciate the very thorough analysis, and the unique perspective that you have brought to this hearing, and your words will be memorialized in history, and I think it will be an important guidepost as we continue to consider this issue.
The Congressmen wanted to make sure that I asked you at least one question that he wanted you to shed some light on. Some have suggested that the District of Columbia is not financially able to support statehood. Would you care to comment on that?
Mr. HECHINGER. Well, I believe that in statehood, the Federal payment will have to be continued. The fact is that unlike any city in America, the prime real estate is held by the Federal Government, and within the Federal enclave should the division take place between the New Columbia and the Federal enclave. Furthermore, the services are provided not only to the Federal workers in the enclave, but the fact is that there are over 300,000 commuters a day who live in Maryland, and live in Virginia and else where and commute here, and are advantaged by the services provided by the city in terms of the road system, the police, the courts, the health in terms of the restaurants, and continued municipal service which are not reimbursed to the city, so that in addition to the billions of dollars which we pay in terms of Federal taxes, and the taxes to our local government, the District of Columbia, there will be the necessity for the continuance of the Federal payment, which we hope will be determined on the basis of a formula that relates to the taxes that the citizens pay, which will do two things: One, it will be a guaranteed payment that can be measured in advance so that the budget can be calculated that will not be up to the line-by-line line item veto that we have discussed, and further, that there will be no runaway demand upon the Federal Government.
There will be a self-governing or self-control because that percentage of Federal payment will be best based upon the local taxes which the citizens will address themselves to, should it become too high, and the respective Federal payment will stay in relationship to what citizens tax themselves. So certainly I believe that the re sources are there for the statehood of the District of Columbia.
Mr. BARNES. We want to thank you for that answer and for your testimony, Mr. Hechinger. We appreciate you taking the time to come out.
Mr. HECHINGER. Thank you, John Barnes.
Mr. BARNES. I would like to call Mr. Paul Greenberg as the next witness representing the D.C. Self-Determination Coalition. Mr. Greenberg, we have your written statement that you submitted, and it will be made a part of the record. You may proceed as you wish.
STATEMENT OF PAUL GREENBERG, CHAIRPERSON, AMERICANS
FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION, GREATER WASHINGTON CHAPTER
Mr. Chairman and other members of the Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs and Health, my name is Paul Greenberg. I am here today to testify in support of H.R. 325, legislation to make New Columbia the 51st State of the Union. My statement is being presented on behalf of the Statehood Committee of the Self-Determination for D.C. National Coalition, an organization which has a 15-year histo ry of active support of District of Columbia self-government and voting representation efforts. I would also like to note that Congressman Fauntroy, himself, is one of the conveners of the coalition and served as cochair in its initial chairs.
It is clearly time to press forward on H.R. 325, and for several reasons: One, the statehood constitution has completed the local process including ratification by a majority of District of Columbia voters; two, a task force has reviewed the constitution for more than a year and has recommended amendments which we believe makes the document more legally and technically sufficient, as well as more acceptable politically; three, statehood for the District of Columbia is a conservative proposal in that the proposed constitution has no provision which is not contained in the constitution of one or more existing States of the Union; and four, legal and constitutional experts have testified before this subcommittee regarding the validity of Statehood as a self-government and voting representation option for the residents of the District of Columbia.
Moreover, statehood is a logical extension of the self-determination movement for home rule and full voting representation in Congress. The Home Rule Charter which was adopted in December of 1973 by the Congress left some major unfinished business. This unfinished business is represented by several bills pending before the Congress. The objectives of these bills include: Budgetary autonomy for the District; a formula-based automatic Federal payment; correction of the inefficiency of government caused by the congressional review period of the Home Rule Charter; the transfer of prosecutorial authority; and the appointment of judges.
The achievement of each of these objectives would be accomplished through statehood. Statehood is also the logical next step toward achieving full voting representation in the Congress. The decades old quest for voting representation received major momentum from the campaign for passage of a constitutional amendment during the 1970's and early 1980's. In 1978 for the first time in history, both bodies of the Congress went on record in support of full voting representation and did so by a margin of a two-thirds vote in each half with the voting rights amendment.
At least one house of the legislatures of over half of the States also supported the amendment. Although the amendment was not ratified by the required number of States, the potential for longrange success of the self-determination movement was clearly established during the nationwide educational and organizational efforts of the campaign for the voting rights amendments.
Even more important to self-determination movement momentum, however, has been the District's own accomplishments under its decade of home-rule government. Working under the Home Rule Charter as adopted in 1973, the District has experienced growth in administrative accomplishments. There have also been post charter increments in home-rule authority. The increments of home-rule authority are highlighted by the so-called Chadha legislation which strengthened local government through the establishment of a veto procedure which requires involvement of the House, the Senate, and the President before District legislation is rejected.
Statehood merges the dual concerns for home rule and voting representation. It provides the best means for our great Nation to address its moral responsibility to provide full voting rights and local control of local affairs to the citizens of Washington, DC, the same rights enjoyed by all other U.S. citizens.
Support for statehood has been steadily evolving at the national and local level, and now includes such significant groups as the Democratic National Committee, Americans for Democratic Action, the National Organization for Women, the American Jewish Congress, and the Metropolitan Washington Council-AFL-CIO, to name just a few, as well as the ACLU here in Washington.
The most recent organization to endorse statehood is the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Leadership Conference's 185 member national and local organization base represents hundreds of thousands of citizens from every State in the Union, and the majority of congressional districts across the country. The Leadership Conference's endorsement on March 31 of this year, along with the growing number of endorsements of statehood within the Self-Determination Coalition member organizations provides expanding credibility and national network support for the statehood move ment. It is clearly time to press forward purposefully toward these short-term goals: one, to heighten the attention of Members of Congress to the statehood issue; two, to broaden the bipartisan support base for statehood; and, three, to move toward a precedent-setting committee vote on statehood and possibly a floor vote.
As you are aware, a similar staged approach was used in gaining committee and floor action during the home rule and voting rights campaigns. The two campaign efforts involved a number of unsuccessful test votes spanning more than one Congress before victory was won. But in each instance, where votes were taken, win or lose, important groundwork was laid for the next step in the process.
In conclusion, I believe that the statehood constitution, with the addition of the proposed amendments, is a sound document. Although there may be some disagreement over one provision or another, it is most important to accomplish the institutional and political reform which statehood would achieve. It is more important to do that than to engage in unending debate over the specific provisions of the constitution. The member organizations of the statehood committee are reassured in knowing that constitutional amendment process is always available at the State level to the residents of the State of New Columbia if there is a need to modify the constitution at a later date.
Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the statehood committee, I want to thank you for your perseverance in pressing forward on the statehood issue. I also take this opportunity to offer the assistance of the statehood committee in continuing to promote the importance of the statehood issue. Statehood is the key to achieving political equality for District residents, and to fulfilling our national com
STATEMENT BY PAUL GREENBERG
ON BEHALF OF
MR. CHAIRMAN AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISCAL
AFFAIRS AND HEALTH, I AM PAUL GREENBERG.
I AM HER E TODAY TO
TESTIFY IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 325, LEGISLATION TO MAKE NEW COLUMBIA
THE 51ST STATE OF THE UNION. MY STATEMENT IS BEING PRESENTED ON
BEHALF OF THE STATEHOOD COMMITTEE OF THE "SELF-DETERMINATION FOR
D.C. NATIONAL COALITION".-AN ORGANIZATION WHICH HAS A FIFTEEN
YEAR HISTORY OF ACTIVE SUPPORT OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
SELF-GOVERNMENT AND VOTING REPRESENTATION EFFORTS.
IT IS CLEARLY TIME TO PRESS FORWARD ON H.R. 325 SINCE
WHICH IS NOT CONTAINED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF ONE OR
MORE EXISTING STATES OF THE UNION.
LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERTS HAVE TESTIFIED BEFORE
THIS SUB COMMITTEE REGARDING THE VALIDITY OF STATEHOOD
AS A SELF-GOVERNMENT AND VOTING REPR ES ENTATION OPTION
FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA