A group seeking full voting representation for Washington, D.C. residents in Congress is holding a demonstration ahead of Republican Senator Rand Paul’s speech at Howard University, calling the Tea Party favorite a hypocrite.
The address is being promoted as an attempt by Kentucky’s junior senator—and presidential hopeful—to reach out to African-American voters. A handful of black leaders in Louisville have said that’s a good sign given Paul’s rising prominence in national politics.
But DC Vote is once again calling out Paul’s libertarian and small-government message, comparing it to his obstruction of the D.C. Budget Autonomy Act last year.
In 2012, the mayor of D.C. and others urged lawmakers to approve the measure to give local residents the authority to spend tax dollars without Congressional oversight. Paul introduced several amendments to the bill, however, which sought to change the city’s gun, abortion and labor laws.
From DC Vote:
Think about that for a moment: Rand Paul, of all people, used a DC budget autonomy bill that would allow D.C. to spend money it raises from its own population so he can impose his causes on people that have no vote in Congress.
One Paul amendment required the District to allow residents to obtain concealed weapon permits for handguns, and would require the city to honor permits issued to residents of other states. He also submitted an amendment to codify a ban on the use of local DC tax dollars to fund abortions for poor women.
And now he’s looking to deliver a speech on limited government right here in DC. He needs to answer why he is so willing to use the federal hammer on people who have no vote in Congress.
Paul’s speech is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, and is expected to focus on school choice, mandatory federal sentencing laws and the Republican Party’s history in the black community.
DC Vote is planning its demonstration around 10:30 a.m. in Howard’s business school auditorium.