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Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States, which established the District of Columbia, the Congress was given the sole authority:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cessation of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings. . . .

At times over the past two centuries, Congress has ceded varying amounts of power to a locally elected government, but the final authority has always remained with Congress.

District of Columbia Congressional Delegation
Congressional Committees on the District of Columbia

Testimony to Congress

Sometimes, testimony and reports to Congressional committees is more revealing than the scanty bits of information that are given to the citizens of the District of Columbia or to the City Council.

09-26-97 Testimony of Larry D. Soulsby, Chief, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, to the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the District of Columbia

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