In more than two hours of testimony, Fenty and Gray told a congressional subcommittee that the city and its leaders are now mature enough to lose some of the congressional scrutiny established under the Home Rule act. [emphasis mine]
First, let's remember what we're talking about here: all DC laws, budgets, etc., must be approved by Congress before they can become law. The new act would not loosen restrictions much, it would still allow Congress to overturn laws passed by the district, it just wouldn't require congressional approval to pass them in the first place. And all of that is, I believe, obviously ridiculous. But what I noticed here was more about the attitude, present in the word choice, that led to these laws seeming necessary/reasonable in the first place. It's about the city and its leaders being "mature" enough to handle democracy, "mature" enough to handle truly having a right to vote. In a majority black city, it seems clear why some congressmen still think the city deserves separate treatment. Perhaps as the population changes, and the city becomes more white, it will suddenly be seen as "mature" enough.