The House passed legislation to give Washington D.C.'s mayor the authority to deploy National Guard troops during a time of an emergency.
The approved measure was included in H.R. 7900, which the annual defense policy bill. The 218-109 vote on Thursday largely went along party lines.
The amendment was approved by the House after failing in the Armed Services Committee, Politico reported.
The entire $839 billion National Defense Authorization Act was approved in a 329-101 vote. It provided $37 billion more than the administration sought in military spending.
The D.C./National Guard amendment would grant Mayor Muriel Bowser the same authorities afforded to state governors to mobilize the district's National Guard.
"Until D.C. has statehood, Congress will have the undemocratic authority to interfere in D.C.'s local affairs," Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.'s non-voting delegate, said in a statement. "In the meantime, I will continue to fight to defeat each effort by Republicans to interfere in D.C.’s local affairs."
Republicans said the amendment would usurp the authority of the president, who currently has the sole power to deploy the district's National Guard.
"The District of Columbia mayor is the chief executive for D.C. and has the best knowledge and most reliable expertise about when to deploy its own National Guard,” Holmes Norton said, The Washington Times reported.
"This bill might have ended the insurrection hours earlier on Jan. 6, and would afford D.C. a critical element of home rule as it moves toward statehood."
Holmes Norton was referring to the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
Late last month, GOP lawmakers on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee demanded a briefing from Bowser on the city's rising crime and suggested she be held accountable for "soaring crime and deteriorating conditions."
"For over a year, Republicans have raised concerns about D.C.'s soaring crime and deteriorating conditions," Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote in a letter. "The D.C. government, however, has ignored all requests for information. It is past time you take action to restore order to the nation's capital."
Crime has been rising in Washington, D.C., since 2020.
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