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An Excited Norton Gives Update on Hill Process

The D.C. voting bill is moving on the Hill at an incredible pace.

U.S. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is beyond excited, and in recent days has done a good job in trying to keep residents informed of the step-by-step process.

Here are excerpts from her news releases:

As she noted yesterday, at 11 a.m. today, the Senate will take a cloture vote, which would end debate on the motion to go forward and allow debate on the bill itself to start.

"Our present count indicates that we have the 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture and begin the debate on S. 160," Norton said.

After that vote today, Norton expects the Senate to focus on the nomination of Hilda Solis to be Secretary of the Department of Labor.

"By Wednesday, we expect the Senate to begin debate on S.160, which will then be open to amendments," Norton said.

She continues: Later, Democrats and Republicans will agree to proceed to a final vote on the bill, or opponents of the bill may refuse to end debate on the bill, which can occur, but this does not occur frequently. If opponents refuse to end debate, however, again, 60 votes would be required to invoke cloture and proceed to a final vote on the bill.

"We expect most Senators who voted in favor of invoking cloture on the motion to proceed to vote in favor of invoking cloture to end debate on the underlying bill," Norton said.

This morning, her office reported that the House mark-up of the D.C. House Voting Rights Act in the Judiciary Committee will take place Wednesday at 2 p.m., in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2141.

Her office noted that "the Senate almost surely will still be considering amendments to the bill" tomorrow. That is, if the bill survives the cloture vote today.

"I could not be more pleased that the House and Senate are moving at the same time on our D.C. House Voting Rights bill," Norton said. "The House went first last time, but this time it looks like a race to the finish and the Senate is ahead by a lap."

Norton plans to join Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) at 2:15 p.m. today in the Capitol Ohio Clock Corridor to discuss the legislation.

By Marcia Davis  |  February 24, 2009; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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