In Washington, D.C., Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has reintroduced a critical bill aimed at safeguarding agencies that solely oversee District of Columbia matters. These agencies are primarily funded by the federal government and operate independently of the District’s control. Norton emphasized that during federal government shutdowns, these agencies should remain operational as they deal exclusively with D.C. affairs, unrelated to federal issues or congressional shutdowns. The goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of D.C. residents by allowing these vital criminal and civil justice agencies to continue functioning.
The bill encompasses agencies that depend solely on federal funding and are not under the District’s jurisdiction. These include the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for D.C., the D.C. Courts, the D.C. Public Defender Service, the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, and the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission. Additionally, the bill covers the D.C. Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, a D.C. agency primarily funded by the federal government.
Congresswoman Norton underlined the focus of these agencies on District of Columbia matters and their critical role in local justice. She emphasized that as a local jurisdiction, the District should not be entangled in federal shutdown disputes that do not pertain to its functions.
Norton has a history of taking action to protect the D.C. government from federal government shutdowns. Since the 2013 federal government shutdown, she has successfully advocated for provisions exempting the D.C. government from such shutdowns.
In her statement, Congresswoman Norton emphasized the importance of her bill in ensuring the continued operation of these essential agencies during federal government shutdowns.