Members of the House must have a lot of free time on their hands these days and are looking for something fun to do. Maybe that’s why instead of focusing on more substantive matters like health care, immigration, the federal budget and the entire Russia-Trump fiasco, they’ve chosen to once again take aim at their beloved “stepchild,” Washington, D.C.
Following the lead of Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and his proposed measure which the House Appropriations Committee advanced late last week, the will of D.C.’s voters stands in jeopardy of being overturned and ignored. What’s at stake? The possible repeal of D.C.’s assisted-suicide law, “The Death with Dignity Act of 2016,” should the full House and Senate agree with the measure, along with #45, President Trump.
Harris has even stated during a debate on the amendment, “We have the absolute ability to judge anything that the District of Columbia does that we think is bad, bad policy.” Nonetheless, Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday announced the implementation of the Act which became law when passed by the D.C. Council in November 2016, informing the City that the D.C. Department of Health will be responsible for regulating and overseeing its implementation.
Harris has the reputation of being a thorn in the side of the District, routinely challenging our right for self-determination. Guess it doesn’t matter what the District’s 600,000-plus citizens want or decide.
As for the democratic process and free elections, it’s clear that home rule only exists in concept rather than in reality. It sounds a lot like the lord-vassal relationship that existed within the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. Then, the vassal, that is the slave, had an obligation to a lord or monarch. In the minds of Harris and his fellow lords, we are the “slaves” over whom they govern, at least we tend to be treated as such — children who need wiser adults to direct our steps and decisions.
In truth, there are thousands of talented, educated, skillful visionaries who have led and continue to lead and serve the District of Columbia — men and women who, through sweat and tears, have earned their positions and deserve to be treated with respect rather than as puppets or play toys.
We don’t need Congress to help us make our way and we certainly do not like bullies. It’s way past the time that Congress “stay in its lane” and release us from bondage.