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Posted at 5:38 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Gray heads back to Capitol Hill to talk vouchers

By Mike DeBonis

Mayor Vincent C. Gray will return to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to once again answer questions regarding a possible revival of the D.C. school voucher program.

Gray attended a Senate hearing this month hosted by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), where he was essentially alone in defending his position that the federally funded voucher effort, aka the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, is an illicit intrusion on the city's right to govern itself. The good senators delivered Gray and the city an ultimatum: You either take vouchers, or you lose related federal aid sent to charters and the D.C. Public Schools.

Tuesday's hearing, before the House Oversight subcommittee chaired by rookie Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), is similarly stacked in the pro-voucher direction -- though Gray will be appearing without D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, a voucher supporter who testified to his own personal conversion on the issue at the Senate hearing.

Worth keeping an eye on: Given the Senate ultimatum, will Gray change his strident anti-voucher tune? Also: Will Gowdy, in his maiden hearing on a D.C. issue, ask Gray about any of the other recent hot-button issues in District governance?

By Mike DeBonis  | February 28, 2011; 5:38 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, The District, Vincent Gray  
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