June 1, 1967. LBJ submits a plan to provide for some measure of self-rule, but not full home rule, for the District of Columbia. The fight for home rule in the nation’s capital has been going on since the 1940s, and LBJ has been advocating for it since 1965. Supporters have met significant resistance, in part due to white fears of home rule in a majority-black city.
By framing it as a reorganization, the President will be able to bypass the House District Committee, on which several members oppose the bill, in favor of the friendlier Government Operations Committee. Reorganizations cannot be amended by Congress, although they can be rejected by resolution within 60 days. This approach, although it will not result in the full home rule that LBJ advocated in his 1966 State of the Union, is a good example of the President’s belief in politics as the art of the possible.
"The proposed reorganization is in no way a substitute for home rule. As I stated in my Message on the Nation’s Capital, the plan:
'will give the District a better organized and more efficient government … but only home rule will provide the District with a democratic government—of, by and for its citizens.'
I remain convinced more strongly than ever that Home Rule is still the truest course. We must continue to work toward that day-when the citizens of the District will have the right to frame their own laws, manage their own affairs, and choose their own leaders. Only then can we redeem that historic pledge to give the District of Columbia full membership in the American Union.”