The House yesterday affirmed two actions by the City Council that would permit District residents to recall their local elected officials and initiate by petition their own laws or vote to overturn actions of the City Council.
The lopsided approval of the measures, which still must be confirmed by the Senate, came at the start of a week in which the House is scheduled to debate and then vote on a much more controversial measure - full voting representation in Congress for the District.
District voters overwhelmingly ratified the two Council actions last November.
House District Chairman Charles C. Diggs Jr. (D-Mich.) explained the two proposed changes in the city's home rule charter, and both were approved with little debate.
By a vote of 321-24, the House approved a change in the city's home rule charter, that would permit District voters to initiate laws or reject Council actions by petition and referendum.
Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Cal.) said special interest groups had made a mockery of a similar law in California. But Rep. Romano L. Mazzoli (D-Ky.), a member of the House District Committee, said the city's version would make it more difficult for organized groups to use the procedudre capriciously.
Another supporter and District committee member, Rep. Stewart B. McKinney (R-Conn.), pointed out that taxing and appropriation measures are excluded from the legislation.
The recall of city officials, which was approved by a vote of 350-4, excluded the District's delegate to Congress and cannot be used in the first or last year of any official's term.
Both D.C. measures are expected to be approved by the Senate within the next 35 legislative days, according to an aide to Fauntroy.
The House is scheduled to discuss and debate the full voting representation resolution Wednesday afternoon. A vote is expected Thursday.