(The Root) — The White House is still dealing with the fallout from congressional budget negotiations that barely averted a government shutdown: angry progressives speaking out around the country, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray getting arrested during protests, and hundreds of thousands of Washington, D.C., residents feeling the sting of political betrayal. In order to end the budget stalemate, President Obama allowed a provision that banned D.C. from using its own funds to help poor women access abortion. “John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it,” Obama reportedly said to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the Oval Office.
Days later, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was still trying to smooth things over. “The president is a firm supporter of D.C. home rule and continues to be that,” he told the Washington Post. “The choices that had to be made in this negotiation were not easy ones.” D.C. has a quirky governance structure: It is not a state and has no voting representation in Congress. Although the city was granted “home rule” in 1973, Congress also has final approval over the District’s budget and the laws passed by its residents, making the city less a democracy and more of a colony, legally speaking. This is why our license plates read, “Taxation Without Representation.”