Eleanor Holmes Norton
**FILE** Eleanor Holmes Norton (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton claimed two major legislative victories Tuesday on behalf of the city.

The first win had to do with one bill, the District of Columbia Home Rule Expansion Act. It is considered to be the largest expansion of the city’s limited self-governance since the passage of the D.C. Home Rule Act in 1973.

The bill, which passed the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, would give the District the exclusive authority to prosecute local crimes, allow the city the sole authority to grant clemency for local criminal transgressions and eliminate the congressional review period for D.C. Council and mayor-approved legislation.

“D.C. should — and will — be a state,” Norton said. “However, until Congress grants D.C. statehood, which is closer than ever, there is no constitutional or policy reason Congress should not expand D.C.’s authority to govern its local affairs. Today’s committee passage of my bill demonstrates progress and momentum toward expanding D.C.’s control over its own local affairs, and I look forward to House passage of the bill.”

Later in the day, the House passed another piece of Norton’s legislation, the Enslaved Voyages Memorial Act, which would establish a memorial on federal land in the city to honor enslaved individuals.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who sponsored companion legislation in his chamber, praised the House passage of the bill and urged the Senate to take it up immediately “so we can send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.”

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