D.C. Political Roundup: Budget Autonomy Moves Forward

James Wright | 7/31/2013, 3 p.m.
The decades-long struggle for the District to determine how it spends its own money made major strides recently with the ...
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa is the chairman of the House committee that deals with District affairs. (Courtesy photo)

The D.C. Council passed the LRAA, 8-5 last month, and Robert Turner II, the executive director of the city's Republican Party, said that he didn't support the council’s action.

"If the D.C. Council were sincere in its efforts to produce a living wage, then why is this bill targeted only [at] one company?” Turner, 42, asked. "It's a straw man that will have negative consequences for the District. We strongly suggest Mayor Gray do what is in the best interest of the District as a whole, and not just labor unions."

Turner, who lives in Northeast, disagreed with views expressed by D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large), who voted for the LRAA.

"Anyone who suggests that the 'District doesn't need retailers, retailers need the District' clearly does not grasp the concept of economics," he said.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) hasn't indicated what action he will take regarding the bill.

Ron Phillips, the chairman of the D.C. Republican Party, agreed with Turner, saying that the LRAA will hurt residents in eastern Washington.

"With the passage of this bill, Wards 5, 7 and 8 will lose access to hundreds of potential jobs," said Phillips, who lives in Southeast. "A plan like that serves no one. We hope the mayor does the right thing and vetoes this jobs-killing bill."