The GOP majority in the House voted Wednesday to strike down a ballot measure, passed overwhelmingly by D.C. voters in 2013, that would have given the District the power to allocate its own tax dollars (according to the Constitution, Congress has “exclusive authority” to govern the federal district). Two Democrats broke ranks to join the Republicans: Jim Costa of California and Brad Ashford of Nebraska.
The New Republic reached out to both congressmen for comment. Through his press secretary, Ashford declined to comment. Costa, meanwhile, said his vote was an accident.
The California congressman submitted a clarification to the Congressional Record on Thursday that reads, “Mr. Speaker, I inadvertently voted aye for the Clarifying Congressional Intent in Providing for DC Home Rule Act of 2016. My intention was to vote no on the legislation.”
Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District, has said that anyone who supported the legislation was running the city, which is 46 percent African American, like a “plantation.”