D.C. Voting Rights Bill Passes Senate, Finally To Be Law Soon
It seems that my whole life there have been a few issues that linger, get pondered, debated and explored, and then studied, only to linger some more. Health care is one. D.C. full voting representation in the House of Representatives is another.
One down, one to go?
By a vote of 61-37, the Senate passed a bill providing full voting representation for the nation’s capital in the House of Representatives, nearly ensuring that the measure will become law this time around. While advocates were declaring victory already, a court fight almost definitely looms over the constitutionality of giving the District of Columbia voting privileges in the House that are akin to those of the 50 states.
The measure, if it became law, would increase the size of the House of Representatives to 437 from 435, adding not only a seat from the District of Columbia but also one from Utah. The Western seat was added in a compromise deal a few years back, to help attract Republican support and because officials contended that the state was deprived of an additional congressional district through an undercount in the 2000 Census. (Also Utah’s Republican lean would also help balance out the normally Democratic tilt of the district.)
The House has yet to take up the measure this session, but is certain to repeat its passage of the bill in previous years. (Representative Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, indicated that his chamber would take up a similar measure next week.) And President Obama has indicated his support for giving the district representation.