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Carter Backs D.C. Congressional Vote

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By Jack Eisen
The Washington Post
Thursday, February 17, 1977

From The Washington Post archives, Feb. 17, 1977.

President Jimmy Carter, in his first statement on District of Columbia governmental matters since entering the White House, said yesterday that the nation's capital should be granted voting rights in Congress.

While declaring that "the President's interference in the internal affairs of the District . . . should be minimal," Carter said he had not reached a position on a form of expanded home rule that would further detach the city from U.S. control.

"Whether to go to statehood, I doubt the advisability of that," Carter said.

On congressional representation, the President did not say whether the city from U.S. control.

"Whether to go to statehood, I doubt the advisability of that," Carter said.

On congressional representation, the President did not say whether the city should be limited to a vote in the House of Representatives or should be granted the privilege in both the House and Senate.

White House staff members familiar with the issue failed to return several telephone calls placed by a reporter seeking clarification yesterday.

The President voiced his comments yesterday during a visit to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare headquarters in Southwest Washington. He accepted questions from assembled employees, as he has done on similar visits to other major agencies.

Carter was asked his views on expanded home rule for the District and on the decision by former President Ford to cut $10 million from the city's requested $300 million federal payment in lieu of taxes in the next fiscal year.

Although city officials have appealed the reduction to the White House's Office of Management and Budget, which is expected to send its budget amendments to Congress on Feb. 22, the President said he was not familiar with the issue. He voiced no opinion on it.

On the matter of a congressional vote for the city. Carter's comment was an almost verbatim repetition of a vaguely worded plank touching upon the subject in last year's Democratic Party platform.


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