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Rand Paul Scuttles D.C. Budget Bill with 'Right to Work' Amendment

Alya Solomon is the assistant legislative/political coordinator of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) derailed the DC Budget Autonomy Act yesterday when he launched what DC Vote called “a full-scale assault on DC Home Rule.” In addition to controversial amendments regarding guns and abortions, Rand proposed extending anti-labor “right to work” laws to the District with an amendment providing that “membership in a labor organization may not be applied as a precondition for employment” in the District.

“Labor must be prepared to stand our ground everywhere,” said Metro Council President Jos Williams “They’re coming after us, even in D.C. and we would rather see the bill killed than accept any of the amendments.”

DC Vote Director Ilir Zherka said the advocacy group was “deeply offended” by Senator Paul’s move. The Budget Autonomy Act, which enjoys strong support from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and other local officials, would let the city spend its own money once the mayor and D.C. Council have agreed on a budget without waiting for Congress to grant approval. Scheduled to be marked-up on Wednesday, the bill was pulled after negotiations between Democrats and Sen. Paul’s office failed to produce any agreement on his proposed amendments. 

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