June 29, 2012 — Legislation (S 2345) that would give District of Columbia officials control over "locally collected, locally paid tax dollars" was postponed this week after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposed several amendments to "dictate to the city policies on guns, abortions and unions," a Washington Post editorial states. Paul's "willingness to turn his back on his supposed libertarian principles and devotion to local rule is truly stunning," the editorial adds.
Paul, who has embraced the tea party movement, said during his 2010 campaign, "I think a lot of things could be handled locally ... the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions." The editorial asks, "So how to explain his spoiling a move to give the District autonomy over its own tax dollars [by] injecting the federal government into local affairs?"
The editorial notes that a Paul spokesperson said in an email to the Post that D.C. is a jurisdiction, not a state, and that it "is not only the prerogative but the duty of Congress to have jurisdiction over the Federal District." The editorial concludes, "What we don't get is how someone who raises the banner of a movement inspired by a time when Americans were ruled without representation could be so unsympathetic to the rights of D.C. citizens who are in the same position" (Washington Post, 6/27).