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D.C. Vote Bill Hits Snags in the U.S. House

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said today he was trying to figure out a way to bring the D.C. vote bill to the House floor without lawmakers attaching a controversial amendment that would repeal the city's local gun laws.

The Senate last week approved the D.C. vote bill with the gun amendment, which is strongly opposed by city leaders.

"The irony is...if it passes, we may not be able to pass the bill," Hoyer said of the amendment. But if House members don't have the opportunity to add the amendment, they might not even agree to start debating the legislation, he said.

House members have to agree on rules for debate before taking up a bill. The House Rules Committee was scheduled to meet this afternoon to prepare the D.C. vote measure for the floor, but the session was abruptly canceled.


The House leadership had originally expected to bring the bill to the floor tomorrow, according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). Hoyer said today that he still hopes to schedule a vote this week.

"It's a little complicated, but we're working on it," he said.

Hoyer said he thought it was "not appropriate" to add gun provisions to a bill that would give the District its first full representative in Congress.

Gun rights are popular in the House. A bill repealing local D.C. gun regulations passed the House overwhelmingly last year, but never got to a Senate vote.

The D.C. vote bill would permanently expand the House by two seats. One would be for the heavily Democratic District, while the other would temporarily go to Utah, which is predominantly Republican and barely missed getting an extra seat after the last Census. After two years, the Utah seat would go to whatever state is next in line to pick up a representative based on population.

Mary Beth Sheridan

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Comments

From the Virginia Declaration of Rights, June, 1776

"VI. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good."


"XIII. That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and be governed by, the civil power."

DC is not a "state" (free or otherwise), so it doesn't fit the militia requirement... right? But it is a part of the national community (Steven Colbert to the contrary, so it should be allowed to vote, and assent to the laws if it is to be taxed.

Posted by: citizenw | March 3, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

From the Virginia Declaration of Rights, June, 1776

"VI. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good."


"XIII. That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and be governed by, the civil power."

DC is not a "state" (free or otherwise), so it doesn't fit the militia requirement... right? But it is a part of the national community (Steven Colbert to the contrary, so it should be allowed to vote, and assent to the laws if it is to be taxed.

DC is a Federal City. Sorry

Posted by: askgees | March 3, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

So the previous person is against representation for 600,000 people? Go to North Korea, maybe you'll feel at home.

Posted by: cuteblkguy | March 3, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

DC residents have as much a constitutional right to bear arms as they do to vote.

Posted by: reiflame1 | March 3, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

According to the Drudge Report, the DC vote bill is dead.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 3, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

citizenw asked: DC is not a "state" (free or otherwise), so it doesn't fit the militia requirement... right?
-------------------
Now that we have re-affirmed that the 2nd Amendment is an INDIVIDUAL right, your question is moot. The Constitution guarantees that the individual citizen's of the District have the right to keep and bear arms.

That's the very same Constitution which says the District isn't represented in Congress.

So sorry, it's tough waking up to reality.

Posted by: NeverLeft | March 3, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. The House unanimously approved a measure last year to repeal all of the District's post-Heller gun restrictions by itself. The senate added a rider repealing all the District's gun law just recently. ...So the representatives of the United states populace have voted to repeal the District's gun laws. Now Steny Hoyer wants to subvert that process. Doesn't sound very Democratic to me...........

Posted by: civilrightist | March 3, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

NeverLeft: So right on!

Posted by: civilrightist | March 3, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

No matter what you gun-lovers may think, can you at least grant that American citizens everywhere enjoy the power to write their own gun safety laws? The people of the District also have a right to our gun safety laws, as long as they are constitutional. And the Supreme Court did NOT say that gun regulation is unconstitutional -- they simply said that the previous DC law was too restrictive.

So why do Senators from NV & VA, who do not represent DC voters, overturn the gun safety laws written by DC's elected officials? Because they have no concept of justice, respect, or simple decency.

Posted by: keshinil1 | March 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

keshinil1 said: Gun rights My fellow individuals? What is that pal? does that mean your free right to speak about this very dilemma? just think about the ability to speak and who that came from?

Posted by: civilrightist | March 3, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

keshinil1: you sir are an ass

Posted by: civilrightist | March 3, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Agree with keshinil1, the people of DC should be respected in their stance on guns. At least they are trying to protect civilized life in the city. These gun-lovers still live in the 18th century. Mourn this addiction to guns and violence in the fiber of our American society?

Posted by: Towards_Light | March 4, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

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