A House Republican bill that would fund the District of Columbia in the midst of a government shutdown was secured by GOP leaders at the request of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat.
An aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Cantor met with Norton last week and asked that federal funding to the District continue even if the rest of the government shut down for a lack of funding. Cantor agreed, and the continuing resolution to keep District funds flowing won House approval Tuesday.
However, President Obama announced that he would veto the bill, and Senate Democrats made clear that they would deny it the votes needed to pass. The Democrats said they also would oppose House Republican bills intended to fund veterans' programs and national parks. Democrats say they will only accept a “clean” continuing resolution that funds the federal government across the board.
“Given that the government shutdown will have a disproportionate impact on the District of Columbia, providing essential local funding for the District is obviously the right and necessary thing to do," Cantor spokesman Doug Heye said. "That the White House and congressional Democrats turned their backs and defunded the District is as shameful as it is troubling.”
Norton said during an impassioned speech on the House floor that she was reluctantly supporting the bill to keep the District funded, despite her opposition to the House Republicans’ “piecemeal” approach to funding the government and resistance in the Senate and White House.
“I’m asking, keep the District open,” Norton said. “I understand the resentment of my side over what is being done here.”