The Washington Post reports today that while Americans seem to support the idea of giving the residents of the District of Columbia voting representation in Congress, they don’t support the bill currently before Congress:
A sizable majority of Americans think the District should have a full voting member in the House, but reaction is mixed to a bill pairing a new D.C. seat with an extra representative for Utah, according to a national Washington Post poll.
Overall, 61 percent of adults polled Sunday say the nation’s capital should have a full House representative, with majorities agreeing across party lines.
But only 49 percent back the D.C. voting rights bill that cleared the House last week and that is headed for the Senate. That legislation would expand the House by two seats: one for the overwhelmingly Democratic District and one for the next state in line to pick up a representative — heavily Republican Utah. The poll found 37 percent were opposed to the bill, and 14 percent had no opinion.
The biggest drop in support between the two questions came from Democrats. Although nearly seven in 10 Democrats want the District to have a full seat in the House, fewer than half — 47 percent — support the current bill, according to poll results.
“People support the principle” of a vote for the District, said Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, an advocacy group. “I think it’s a little bit harder for some people to say, ‘We should balance these votes out.’ “
Or, maybe, they just realize that the current proposal is as illegitmate as it’s critics have said it is.
As I’ve said before, there are two perfectly acceptable routes available under the Constitution for giving the District voting representation. The first option is to amend the Constitution itself to provide that the District shall have such representation. The second option would be to return the non-federal portions of D.C. to Maryland and allow the citizens of the District to become citizens of the State of Maryland. Neither method is easy to accomplish politically, and there’s no guarantee that either will receive the necessary approval, but trying and failing is better than trying something that is blatantly unconstitutional.
A Vote For D.C. That’s Unconstitutional
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White House Opposes D.C. Vote Bill
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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
House Passes D.C. Vote Bill