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doubt in a court of law as to the legal residence claimed by an individual. Provides simple automatic fiscal formula
H. R. 28 provides a simple, clear, fair, and automatic method of determining the annual Federal payment for general support of the District. This payment would be 14 percent of the revenues from District sources during the preceding fiscal year; but it could not exceed $15,000,000. Fourteen percent was the 1948 ratio of the Federal payment to local District revenues. The bill authorizes the appropriation of such amount so that the District may anticipate, for budgetary purposes, its revenues from Federal sources. Permits popular referendum on charter
H. R. 28 provides for the submission of the proposed charter to a popular referendum of the qualified electors of the District on November 15, 1949. The charter would become effective only after approval by a majority of District voters in the referendum. In this way the people of the District can reject this form of local selfgovernment if they do not desire it. This procedure follows the practice in the States and is certainly democratic.
III. ARGUMENTS FOR A FAVORABLE REPORT
H. R. 28 is a simplified version of the bill (H. R. 6227) which the Committee on the District of Columbia reported favorably last year. This former bill has been reduced from 180 to 137 pages and from 25 to 20 titles. The new bill is less controverial, shorter, and clearer than the old one. Very few new items appear in this revised bill; practically all changes are revisions and deletions. The former changes in the rules of the House have been eliminated. The civil service and the initiative, referendum, and recall titles have been dropped. Many technical improvements have been made by House legislative counsel. Constitutionality
After many revisions and refinements, this legislation has now matured to the point where there can be little doubt of its constitutionality. The only features of this legislation about which constitutional questions have been seriously raised are (1) the delegation of legislative power to the District Council, and (2) the procedure for congressional review and veto of District legislative proposals.
As to the delegation of legislative power to the District Council, H. R. 28 grants the District Council no more power to enact local ordinances than Congress has already granted the Board of Commissioners and the Zoning Commission down through the years. The bill empowers the Council to propose general legislation applicable to the District of Columbia, but it provides that such proposals shall not take effect as law until Congress itself has enacted a statute expressing its approval of such proposals. Surely there is no constitutional question here.
Personally, I believe that Congress could go much further in this respect than this bill goes. Congress has made a full delegation of legislative power to the territorial legislatures, without any requirement of congressional review. And this procedure has never, as far as I can learn, been invalidated by the courts. Nor, to my knowledge, has Congress ever revoked a Territorial statute.
Short of full and unconditional delegation, there are three alternatives which might be considered:
(1) General legislative power might be granted to a District Council and its effectiveness subject to the positive approval of Congress. This is the method proposed in this bill.
(2) General legislative authority might be granted to a District Council and its effectiveness subject to the absence of congressional disapproval by concurrent resolution of both Houses, within a specified time. This is the method embodied in Senator Kefauver's bill, and in the Executive Reorganization Acts of 1939 and 1945.
(3) General legislative authority might be granted to a District Council subject to the failure of Congress to disapprove it within a specified time by a simple resolution of either House. This one-house veto method-subject to a constitutional majority vote—is the method provided for in the Executive Reorganization Act of 1949. Thus there are congressional precedents for all these types of delegation of legislative power and legislative review thereof.
I might add that during the Eightieth Congress the subcommittee received 11 legal opinions on the constitutionality of these provisions of the home rule bill. We received opinions from the Attorney General of the United States, from House and Senate legislative counsel, the Washington Home Rule Committee, the Washington Board of Trade, and six eminent constitutional lawyers. These opinions overwhelmingly supported the constitutionality of the provisions of the bill relating to delegation of legislative authority to the District Council and the action of Congress on legislative proposals initiated by the Council. Advantages to be gained from the passage of this act
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I believe that report and passage of this legislation at the earliest possible moment will bring three manifest advantages in its train. First, it will relieve Congress of an onerous councilmanic burden which it should not have to bear in these times when great issues of peace and prosperity are pressing for its attention. Second, it will modernize the out-moded administrative structure of the District government, enabling it to render more efficient service to the people of Washington. Third, it will restore local self-government to the inhabitants of this community after a lapse of 75 years.
The central issue of our time is whether government by the few or by the many shall prevail. The effort to democratize the government of the city of Washington is a local manifestation of this world-wide contest of ideas, and H. R. 28 is a challenge to Congress to reaffirm the democratic faith and to advance the lines of democracy in our National Capital City.
It was no part of the intention of the framers of the Constitution that the people of the Federal City should lack local self-government. To be sure, they gave Congress exclusive legislative authority over the area to be chosen as the seat of the Government. By this they meant to exclude the authority of the States over the Federal district, but they did not intend that Congress should sit as a municipal legislature for the District or to deprive the Capital City of home rule. “Its inhabitants," wrote James Madison in the Federalist (No. 43), "will
have their voice in the election of the Government which is to exercise authority over them." And be went on to assure them that “a municipal legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them."
The people of this District were thus promised local suffrage by the founding fathers. They are fully capable of local self-government and they are entitled to their political rights as American citizens. I believe that these rights can be realized, at least in part, by the passage of this bill.
Mr. HARRIS. I want to thank our colleague for his clear explanation of the bill proposed to this Congress for home rule.
Are there any questions?
Mr. O'HARA. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Auchincloss, in his last statement, called attention to the founding fathers drawing up the Constitution, providing for the District of Columbia. It made a distinction between this as the seat of the Government, apart from the various States; is that not true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. I presume it is. Mr. O'HARA. And the quotation you read from last, by Mr. Madison, was that adopted by the Federalists in the debate upon the problems of the Constitution, or was it the minority view of Mr. Madison?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. I cannot answer that categorically, but it is the opinion of a man who had a great deal to do with the writing of the Constitution.
Mr. O'HARA. But was it accepted or rejected by the Federalists in the debate on that question?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I cannot answer the question whether it was acted on in any way.
Mr. O'HARA. Would you say that the Congress of the United States is neglectful in its treatment or consideration of the problems of the District of Columbia ?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. Well I think that is a rather cruious question, Mr. O'Hara. I know that you and my colleagues, all of them, have devoted a tremendous lot of time to the work and the concern of the District of Columbia. I don't think they have been neglected, so far as we can possibly do it. My claim is, though, that where a people are taxed the way they are taxed here, they should have some authority and some right to say how the taxes should be spent and how their local government should be run.
Mr. O'Hara. Well, I am sure that you, and it has been the rule with myself, that my doors have been open to any citizen, any resident of the District of Columbia, regardless of creed or color, regardless of what their problems might be, to come in to consult with you as they have with me on any problem. Isn't that true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I don't think there is any question about it.
Mr. O'HARA. Isn't that true, Mr. Auchincloss, of the rank and file of the Members of the Senate and the House of the United States Congress?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. Well, I don't think there is any question about it. I haven't any grounds whatever for criticizing my colleagues in any way, but I do maintain, Mr. O'Hara, that I was not elected by
my constituents to run the city of Washington or devote my time to it. I was elected to represent my constituents and I don't think my constituents realize how much time you and these other gentlemen and myself do give to matters they are not particularly concerned about.
Mr. O'HARA. Does the District of Columbia belong exclusively to the people of the District of Columbia or does it also belong to all of the people of the United States as being the seat of government?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. Well, this is the seat of government of the Federal Government of the United States, and the people of the United States through their contributions are interested in this seat of government; but the people who live here, and who pay real estate taxes and other taxes have also an awful big stake in this city and its welfare.
Mr. O'HARA. But, Mr. Auchincloss, when we were elected to Congress there were a lot of things nationally we did not know in our district, but we soon took them on as part of our job, and that included the District of Columbia. Isn't that true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I think when I was elected that was absolutely true. I never had any idea what went on down here.
Mr. O'Hara. Well, did you ask to be appointed on the District of Columbia Committee?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. I did make that request because I have always been interested in municipal government, and when I found there was an opportunity to be of service and to be identified with it, I very glad to be appointed to serve on this committee.
Mr. O'Hara. Well, your action in that regard was the same as mine, and you had the same privilege I had-to resign from this committee at any time. Isn't that true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. That is true. I hope you don't resign.
Mr. O'HARA. I thank you. [Laughter.] I was very much impressed, Mr. Auchincloss, with the tremendous amount of work and study put on this problem by you and your committee. I realize that you may have felt hurt, and I don't think that was the intention of the action of the House when it defeated this bill in the last session of Congress, or that there was anything personal about it; but the House, I think, did feel very strongly about the problems which were involved, and perhaps the bill which you had last year went a little bit further than the one which you introduced this year; and it did. Isn't that true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. It certainly is true. I have no feelings at all about people who have honest differences of opinion on this matter, and I think that is the only way we can work out our problems—to have frank and open discussion and airing of the view. I would never allow any political disappointment I may have to embitter me in my friendships that I have earned and won in Congress.
Mr. O'Hara. Well in treating this problem in regard to the seat of government, do you think that the right to vote is overwhelmingly important rather than the seat of the Government of the United States. Which do you think is the more important?
Mr. AUCHINCLoss. I think that the most important fundamental thing in this country is to allow people to vote where they are taxed, and I would like to point out that I believe this to be the only great city in the world where the residents don't have a right to vote. I am told that even in Moscow they have a right to vote. [Applause.] They may be told who to vote for, but they have a right to vote.
Mr. O'HARA. Well, is that literally true? Are there other countries in the seats of government where they do not vote in other localities but have a right to vote where they are domiciled?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. You are speaking of dual voting?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I am not aware that there are any. I would be glad to have that studied and looked up and give you the answer but I do not know that there is.
Mr. O'HARA. Well, when the National Capital was in Philadelphia they had some little unpleasant happenings there that caused the founding fathers to move the seat of government to the District of Columbia. That is true, isn't it? Wasn't that the imperative cause of that action?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I did not get your question.
Mr. O'HARA. I say the difficulty which the Congress had when it was located in the city of Philadelphia was one of the reasons for the establishment of the District of Columbia and the moving of the Nation's Capital to this place. Isn't that true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I believe it was.
Mr. O'HARA. Do you know what that difficulty was, in your study of this subject?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. Moved from Philadelphia to Washington?
Mr. O'HARA. Well, they had local government in the District of Columbia back some years ago.
What was the reason for the abandonment of that local government; do you know?
Mr. Auchincloss. Well, the history as I read it---do you mean back in 1870, I believe that was the date?
Mr. O'HARA. Yes.
Mr. AUCHINCLOSS. Well, that was the time of Governor Sheppard, as I remember my history. The city became bankrupt because of the improper handling of public funds and the injudicious way the city was managed. I understand in those days there was practically a swamp here in Washington. Were you here then?
Mr. O'HARA. No, I was not here then. Well, anyway they got overinvolved in indebtedness. Isn't that true?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. I believe that is a fact.
Mr. O'HARA. And your bill would open up the door for voting bond issues, I assume. Is that correct?
Mr. AUCHINCLOSs. What do you mean by “open up the door”? My bill provides that a bond issue can be made amounting to 3 percent of the assessed valuation. It is subject to vote by the City Couniil; it is subject to approval which would have to be given by the Congress; and it is referred to the people to vote on before the bonds can be issued. That amount of 3 percent of the bonded indebtedness is a very low figure; and, speaking in round figures, I think it would amount to about $60,000,000.
May I add this, and go a step further, Mr. O'Hara, and say that my bill provides for the lowest percentage of any of the bills that are