> Washington, D.C. Mayor-elect Vince Gray swung by for a personal visit with Rep. Jason Chaffetz this week but the two apparently agreed to disagree on the district's appeal for more local control over its own budget and rules.
Despite the district having an elected mayor and City Council, Congress retains veto power over the actions of the government of the nation's capital, home to some 600,000 people, and the city does not have a representative in the House or Senate.
Like other D.C. officials, Gray, who beat out incumbent Mayor Adrien Fenty, has pushed for "home rule," a rallying point for many D.C. residents who want to be able to run their own city, but a position that many Republicans say is contrary to the Constitution's design of the city.
"He was advocating home rule and I was advocating the Constitution," Chaffetz said of the sit down.
But beyond the two's disagreement on who should run the city, Chafettz said the two found some areas where they can work together, such as reforming how D.C.'s convicted felons are incarcerated. As a federal city, felons serve time in federal prisons in various states, often far from their families, a point Chaffetz says is unfair.
The Utah congressman says he doesn't want Congress to be the pseudo mayor - "I'm not here to micromanage" - but that he doesn't like the idea of the city using a drug needle exchange program or allowing online poker.
Then again, while Chaffetz says he plans to stay involved in D.C. issues, he will not be chairing the subcommittee that oversees the district. Instead, Chaffetz will head a panel over Homeland Security, national defense and foreign operations.
-- Thomas Burr
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