D.C. area news briefs

Wednesday, January 5, 2011; 9:27 PM


Gray, Norton rally for D.C. House vote

Vincent C. Gray made his first public trip to Capitol Hill as mayor Tuesday, joining Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) at a rally to protest the incoming GOP House majority's plan to strip the District of the one few voting rights it has in Congress.

On Wednesday, the House will vote on a Republican-authored rules package that would take away the ability of delegates and resident commissioners to vote in the Committee of the Whole, a term describing the full House when it acts as a committee for the purpose of considering legislation.

At the rally Tuesday, Gray (D) gave a fiery speech to an assembly of D.C. officials and activists, imploring them to fight "to preserve what little democracy we have." Norton warned that Wednesday's vote might be just the opening salvo in what could become "a full-scale war on home rule for the District of Columbia."

After some activists visited the office of the incoming House speaker, John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Boehner spokesman Cory Fritz said: "Speaker-designate Boehner ... continues to believe, however, that delegates should not vote in the Committee of the Whole because they constitutionally cannot vote on the House floor."

- Ben Pershing


Metro operator to undergo retraining

A Metrorail operator is undergoing refresher training after a video captured a passenger speaking with the operator through an open door of the cab as the train traveled between stations, Metro officials said.

Metro officials said they learned of the incident Monday, the day the video was posted on YouTube. The incident took place on a Yellow Line train headed to Reagan National Airport, said Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff.

The story was first reported by WRC-TV (Channel 4).

- Ann Scott Tyson

Graham out, Wells in on Metro board

The D.C. Council passed a resolution Monday naming Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) to the Metro board of directors, council spokeswoman Traci Hughes said.

Wells replaces longtime Metro board member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Hughes said.

The move comes as the Metro board undergoes major turnover. Several board members have acknowledged frustration at serving in the time-consuming position for little or no pay or public appreciation.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2011 The Washington Post Company