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Norton: Vote Bill Moving Fast; Reid Files Motion to End Senate Debate

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is right: The District bill to grant it a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives is moving at "lightning speed."

Norton's office released a statement last night cheering on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who filed a motion to cut off debate in the Senate yesterday after Republicans had spent the day tacking on amendments to the bill, including gun legislation. Norton hopes Reid will bring the final vote in the Senate as early as today or tomorrow.

(But filing the motion doesn't necessarily mean he'll use it, and Reid's office said last night that the majority leader would prefer a compromise with Republicans rather than using a hammer, and is still talking across the aisle.)

Norton also expects House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to bring the bill to the House floor next week. The bill was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee after a long mark-up session yesterday.

Mary Beth Sheridan and Michael Ruane reported on yesterday's bill debate in both the Senate and the House.

Norton said in her statement last night, "This bill is moving with lightning speed in both houses, but so far the Senate is ahead. I applaud Majority Leader Reid's cloture motion to stop the dallying and get to the point - the Senate vote this week. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's announcement of a vote on our bill on the House Floor is emblematic of the extraordinary priority and advocacy he has always given to D.C. voting rights."

Norton also expressed her frustration at Republican amendments that she said look like the amendment efforts that helped thwart the vote bill two years ago. This time around, however, Norton is confident.

"We believe we have the votes to defeat an unlikely Republican filibuster in the Senate as we did [Tuesday] when we received 62 votes to proceed to consideration of the bill. Passage in both houses should be over by next week."

By Marcia Davis  |  February 26, 2009; 6:54 AM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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