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Hoyer gives green light to D.C. voting rights bill

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has firmed up plans to bring the D.C. voting rights bill to a vote next week. Hoyer had previously said the bill could come up "as early as next week."

But in a statement last night, he said voting rights supporters and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's non-voting House member, had "strongly expressed to me that now is the time to end the injustice of denying Americans living in our nation's capital full voting representation in Congress."

Stumbling blocks remain, including controversial language attached to the bill that would repeal most local gun-control laws. The bill's champion in the Senate, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), also said this week that he would seek to block the bill if it clears the House.

UPDATE, 12:35 p.m.
President Obama weighed in on the issue today in his proclamation on Emancipation Day, which commemorates the day President Lincoln freed slaves in Washington in 1862. An excerpt from his statement:

"Americans from all walks of life are gathering in Washington today to remind members of Congress that although D.C. residents pay federal taxes and serve honorably in our armed services, they do not have a vote in Congress or full autonomy over local issues. And so I urge Congress to finally pass legislation that provides D.C. residents with voting representation and to take steps to improve the Home Rule Charter."

Bill supporters said later that the bill could come up for a vote next Thursday.

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By Ann E. Marimow  |  April 16, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  | Tags: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Steny Hoyer  
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Comments

Hatch doesn't believe one one of America's basic tenents: No taxation without representation. He treats D.C. residents like 2nd class citizens. He sees the District as his plantation.

Posted by: jckdoors | April 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hatch doesn't believe one one of America's basic tenents: No taxation without representation. He treats D.C. residents like 2nd class citizens. He sees the District as his plantation.

Posted by: jckdoors | April 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@jckdoors: You are completely off base with that statement, considering he was one of the sponsors of the Senate version of the bill. His issue with the House bill is that it creates a statewide Utah seat in the House, instead of allowing Utah to define its own districts, which is the right of Utah to do.

Posted by: philip_s | April 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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