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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 04/15/2010

Hatch vows fillibuster over D.C. vote

By Washington Post editors

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a leading sponsor of legislation to give the District a vote in the House, dampened expectations for voting rights advocates Thursday when he announced opposition to a bill scheduled to move forward as early as next week.

Hatch, whose support for the effort had been critical to its success in the Senate last year, said he would filibuster a bill and vote against it if the measure passes the House.

Under a political compromise, the bill would add two seats to the House: one to the overwhelmingly Democratic District and the other to the Republican-leaning Utah. Hatch said in a statement that he objects to the House version of the bill that would create a statewide seat for Utah, instead of a fourth district seat.

"Utah deserves an additional seat in the House, but like every other state it should have the freedom to elect its House members from regular districts," he said.

Hatch said the bill would give one House member three times as many constituents as the three other representatives.

"The solution to this ridiculous confusion is simply to let Utah elect its House members its own way."

The bill's co-sponsor in the Senate, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), remains committed to the legislation, his spokesperson Leslie Phillips said in an email Thursday.

Hatch's announcement comes one day after House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill would come to the floor for a vote as early as next week.

With Hatch's support last year, the Senate passed a D.C. voting rights bill on a 61-37 vote. The measure stalled in the House, after lawmakers in the Senate attached language that would repeal most local gun control laws.

It is unclear whether there would be the required 60 votes in the Senate to move forward with the bill if Hatch filibusters.

"We don't know that we have them, but we think they are certainly with reach," said Ilir Zherka, executive director of the advocacy group DC Vote.

-- Ann E. Marimow

By Washington Post editors  | April 15, 2010; 2:10 PM ET
Tags:  Orrin Hatch, Utah, Washington D.C.  
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Comments

Screw Utah.

Give DC the vote. Now.

It's just that simple.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | April 15, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hatch and the GOP support taxation without representation.

Posted by: jckdoors | April 15, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The Honorable Steny Hoyer would do well to devote his legislative energy to the people to whom he was eleceted to represent. In cas ehe hasn't noticed Maryland has their own set of issues.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | April 15, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Good. DC has no right to a seat. DC is not a state. If the residents of DC want a seat move to a state.

Posted by: neil64 | April 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Utah steals children from their father's and also desires to steal the voting rights of citizens of D.C. True patriots.

Posted by: mjwies11 | April 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Don't give those polygamist mormons (morons) another vote. I would rather have DC not have a vote that to let those idiotic mormons have anymore say that they do know. They are a little state with little minds.


Posted by: mortified469 | April 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Residents of DC have given their lives to defend this country long before Utah was even a state. And this self-righteous windbag has the nerve to stop us from getting represtation in the House! He should be ashamed of perpetuating this injustice.

Posted by: gary16 | April 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Residents of DC have given their lives to defend this country long before Utah was even a state. And this self-righteous windbag has the nerve to stop us from getting represtation in the House! He should be ashamed of perpetuating this injustice.

Posted by: gary16 | April 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Fine, if he doesn't want Utah to have a fourth member that way, then let's take it off the table. Why do we capitulate to these children in the GOP?

Posted by: francisco4 | April 15, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

That's fine mjwies11. Then stop making me have to pay FEDERAL TAXES for YOUR Social Security, YOUR road and highways, YOUR Child's education. In addition, don't make me have to correspond to YOUR Federal Laws. As I get no true representation in YOUR Federal Government, that makes me a citizen of self sovereignty. First order of business is you are banned from visiting MY amazing City. Punishment if you are found breaking this law is a lifetime sentence of listening to looped Sarah Palin quotes. All others can enjoy a city of energy independence, legality of all substances, and equality for all.

Posted by: bdc2 | April 15, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Agreed francisco4. Additionally our leadership seems willing to roll over for the NRA in exchange for our voting rights. I'd like to see that removed from the table as well.

Posted by: dumbtourist | April 15, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

DC deserves to have representation, but why does the bill require Utah to elect a rep statewide? And why does the article not explain the reasons for crafting the bill this way? Why not just create an extra district in Utah?

Posted by: stanlmaz | April 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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