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Express Yourself: Voters approved an amendment to the Home Rule Charter in April that would allow D.C. to spend locally raised money without waiting for Congress to appropriate it to us by an overwhelming 81-13 margin. The official word from the House of Representatives: Well, that’s just your opinion. Literally—a report issued by the GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee today declares that it “considers the recent referendum in the District as an expression of the opinion of the residents, only, and without any authority to change or alter the existing relationship between Federal appropriations and the District.” For now, though, the House hasn’t moved to block the referendum from taking effect. Meanwhile, the referendum seems like a very restrained way of sharing D.C. residents’ opinion of Congress. -3

Hot or Not: At 2 p.m. today, D.C. was the hottest place in the country east of the Rocky Mountains. -3

Water? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Water: Despite the heat, emergency repairs to a water main that’s about to fail in Prince George’s County mean more than 100,000 people are going dry for several days. Andrews Air Force Base and National Harbor are included in the area where water service is being shut off. So if your coworkers commuting in from the eastern suburbs look like they haven’t showered all week, it’s because they haven’t showered all week. -3

Baby You’re a Star: Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper came in second in last night’s Major League Baseball home run derby, and as the sport pauses for its annual All Star Game, the team’s owners are musing about getting the game here in D.C. one of these days. The game, the team and the city agree, would bring significant economic activity to the District. Of course, so would advancing to the National League Championship Series; at least if we don’t get the All Star festivities, it won’t be Pete Kozma‘s fault. +2

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 71 Today’s score: -7 Today’s Needle rating: 64