Introduction of A Bill to Provide for Interim Appropriations for the District of Columbia Courts and Related Agencies with Respect to Any Fiscal Year for Which Appropriations Are Not Otherwise Provided for Such Courts and Agencies

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 8, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, today, I introduce a bill that would exempt from federal government shutdowns the federal and independent civil and criminal justice system law enforcement agencies that are exclusively or primarily federally funded but have exclusive jurisdiction over District of Columbia matters. This bill is modeled on a provision I have been able to get enacted each year since the 2013 federal government shutdown to exempt the D.C. government from federal government shutdowns.

This bill would exempt the following agencies from federal government shutdowns: Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for D.C., D.C. Courts, D.C. Public Defender Service, D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission and D.C. Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. With one exception, these agencies are not under the District's control and are funded exclusively by the federal government. The D.C. Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is an independent agency within the D.C. government with federal members that is primarily, but not exclusively, funded by the federal government. These agencies provide critical local services to the District, including law enforcement, and should continue to function during a federal government shutdown.

Each of these agencies has been adversely affected by federal government shutdowns, including canceled services and furloughed employees. My bill would allow these agencies to continue to function during a federal government shutdown, in much the same way that the D.C. government itself is now exempt from shutting down during a federal government shutdown. I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.