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House Passes D.C. Vote Bill

by @ 4:47 pm on April 19, 2007. Filed under D.C. Vote Bill, U.S. Constitution, Washington DC

Not surprisingly, the House of Representatives today passed a bill that would give the District of Columbia voting representation in Congress:

The House today passed legislation to give the District a full seat in Congress, marking the biggest victory in nearly three decades in the city’s quest for voting rights.

Members voted 241 to 177 for the measure, a political compromise that would add two seats to the House: one for the heavily Democratic District, and the other for the state next in line for an additional representative. Currently, that state is Republican-leaning Utah. Later, in a companion bill, they voted 216 to 203 to pay for creation of the two seats.

“This legislation corrects a serious flaw in our democracy,” declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Democrats managed to steer through the bill a month after having to suddenly pull it from the floor. Last month, House Republicans tried to attach language overturning the District’s strict anti-gun laws, forcing Democrats into retreat. This time, the Democrats fashioned the bill in a way to prevent the Republicans from offering similar amendments.

The legislation still faces major hurdles. Democrats do not appear to have enough votes to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. And, if it clears that chamber, the White House has threatened a veto.

With the exception of persons such as Tom Davis, my Congressman I am embarressed to admit, who not only voted for the bill but was it’s chief sponsor, the GOP leadership fought the good fight on this one:

The House Republican leadership strongly opposed the bill, saying it violates the constitutional requirement that representatives come from states. “This legislation was constitutionally suspect last month, and it is constitutionally suspect today,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Many Republicans said they were not against voting rights for D.C. residents but believed that the best way to provide them was through a constitutional amendment or by ceding much of the District back to Maryland.

“There are ways these individuals can receive representation without trampling on the Constitution,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

Some Republicans have also charged that Democrats will use it as a mechanism to eventually gain two D.C. Senate seats.

And we all know that this is the next step. My opposition to this bill has been for one simple reason —- Davis, the Democrats, and the District are all ignoring the Constitution and trying to use this legislation as a means to circumvent the Amendment process, where they know they could not succeed. The bill is unconstitutional on its face, and Davis and the Democrats deserve condemnation for even proposing it.

Hopefully, it will die in the Senate or, if not there, on the President’s desk.

Previous Posts:

A Vote For D.C. That’s Unconstitutional
Congress Examines Legality Of D.C. Vote Bill
White House Opposes D.C. Vote Bill
The D.C. Voting Rights Crybabies

Will Bush Veto The D.C. Vote Bill ?
Memo From The Washington Post: Ignore The Constitution, Just Vote Already
D.C. Vote Bill Stalls In The House
The Washington Post: Ignoring The Constitution Again
The D.C. Vote Bill Is On It’s Way Back
The D.C. Voting Rights Crybabies Are Back
The D.C. Vote Bill: The Battle Begins Anew
The D.C. Vote Bill Is Back

The D.C. Vote Bill: Back In Congress

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6 Responses to “House Passes D.C. Vote Bill”

  1. James Young says:

    You might have headlined this “House Passes Bill Nakedly Violating Constitution”….

    Nah! That would have been nothing new.

  2. Chance says:

    Do you in fact support a constitutional amendment giving DC representation? I ask because while I agree on technical grounds with the opposition to this bill, I suspect the majority of opposition is for base partisan purposes.

  3. It may depend on what type of Amendment we’re talking about.

    I would not support an Amendment that would turn the District of Columbia into a state and give it full voting rights in the Senate and House. From a practical point of view giving statehood to an entity smaller physically than most other major cities and with less population than any other state just doesn’t make sense.

    I might consider supporting a Constitutional Amendment that seeks to accomplish what the bill currently before Congress attempts to do.

    However, I think the most practical solution is retrocession. Just as when the Federal Government determined it no longer needed that portion of land now known as Arlington County and returned the same to Virginia, the non-federal areas of the District should be returned to Maryland and citizens of the District would then be allowed to vote in Federal elections as Maryland citizens.

  4. [...] Below the Beltway exhibits what I’ll call business casual partisanship as opposed to naked partisanship: “Davis, the Democrats, and the District are all ignoring the Constitution and trying to use this legislation as a means to circumvent the Amendment process, where they know they could not succeed.” [...]

  5. [...] My post last week about the D.C. Vote initiative brought this comment from one blogger: Below the Beltway exhibits what I?ll call business casual partisanship as opposed to naked partisanship: ?Davis, the Democrats, and the District are all ignoring the Constitution and trying to use this legislation as a means to circumvent the Amendment process, where they know they could not succeed.? [...]

  6. [...] Vote Bill: The Battle Begins Anew The D.C. Vote Bill Is Back The D.C. Vote Bill: Back In Congress House Passes D.C. Vote Bill Americans Support A Vote For D.C., But Not The D.C. Vote Bill Damn The Constitution, Full Speed [...]

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