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Congress is losing ground on the budget; it's time it claws that power back

Hedtler-Gaudette is a policy analyst at the Project On Government Oversight, a nonpartisan group that investigates misconduct and conflicts of interest by federal officials. Dayton is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy, a nonprofit working "to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government."

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Big Picture
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A growing and diversifying economy has 706,000 people living in the city, more than Vermont or Wyoming.

First vote by Congress for D.C. statehood lays the ground for next year

The House has voted for the first time to rectify one of the most counterintuitive quirks of American democracy:

People living in the national capital have less of a voice in the national government than all the rest of the nation — consigned to the same second-class status, taxation without representation, which sparked the Revolution that created the country.

Legislation to change that, by making the District of Columbia the 51st state, was approved 232-180 on Friday, the only passage of such a statehood measure by either chamber in the history of Congress.

But the almost purely party-line tally in the Democratic House will be the proposal's symbolically resonant high-water mark, at least for the year. That's because the Republican Senate had made plain it has zero interest in the measure, even before President Trump made explicit this week that he would veto it.

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Government Ethics
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A new report from Issue One Action shows how the wealthy special interests have spread their influence under the Trump administration.

The D.C. swamp has gotten swampier under Trump, report finds

Four years after Donald Trump campaigned on "draining the swamp," wealthy special interests wielding power in Washington have only become more pervasive.

Spotlight on the Swamp, a new project launched last week by the bipartisan advocacy group Issue One Action, details how lobbying activity and spending has increased during the Trump administration, the "pay to play" system has persisted and D.C.'s ethical standards have fallen. (Issue One Action is affiliated with Issue One, which is incubating — but has no editorial say in — The Fulcrum.)

With the November election 20 weeks away, and Americans grappling with the compounded crises of Covid-19 and racial injustice, efforts to make the system more equitable and representative for everyone have become even more crucial.

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