Editorial: Stop abusing D.C.

The federal government continues to find ways to abuse its host city. Administration officials, according to the Washington Post, decided not to reimburse the District for the un-covered $12 million it intends to spend on providing security during President Bush’s inauguration. By instructing D.C. officials to cover the expenses by using funds earmarked for homeland security, the federal government simultaneously acts against its own interest and with contempt for the residents of Washington, D.C.

Because it is the nation’s capital, the District resides on the shortlist for any potential terrorist attack. As a result, it is imperative that it receives sufficient funding to ensure it is adequately prepared to cope with an attack if and when one accuses. Forcing the city to foot the bill for ensuring the security of the president’s inauguration is unfair, and unjustifiable. While administration officials rejected the request that more money be granted to the District in its annual grant aimed at compensating the District for difficulties associated with hosting the federal government to offset inauguration expenses, it awarded lavish grants of $50 million to party convention hosts New York City and Boston for security related expenses. If the federal government wishes to continue in the inaugural tradition, it must cover the costs required to hold such an event.

The federal government has a well-documented history of displaying contempt toward the District. This abuse of the federal government-D.C. relationship – which House Government Reform Chairman Rep. Thomas Davis III (R-Va.) termed “simply not acceptable” – is another justification for awarding the District with voting representation in Congress. So long as it remains disenfranchised, Washington, D.C. will never receive the requisite respect from the federal government.

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