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DC Voting Rights Act

Have a Seat? DC One Row Closer to House Seat and Vote

An argument has been a brewin' for some time in Washington, DC, over the rights of its 600,000 residents. They have a delegate in Congress, but she can't vote. Why? A tiny line in the Constitution says the House of Representatives must be chosen by the people of each state. Sorry, district!

Because DC residents pay federal taxes, they've long decried it as taxation without representation. But all that might change soon. The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the legislation 11 to 1 at its first meeting with the new Congress. Who's the naysayer? Sen. John McCain. Arizona.

Overall, Republicans aren't keen on letting the electric blue district have a vote in the House (because what's next? Two in the Senate?). But nobody's more for it than DC's nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton. To watch Stephen Colbert grill her (and vice versa),



Join The Conversation
HaterTot HaterTot 8 years
MD nor VA is willing to add the ranks of the poor who are in need of public assistance to their rolls. Period. MD also has this whole weird political struggle between Baltimore and PG/Montgomery County and adding DC would move the center of power from Baltimore to PG County. (This has nothing to do with Annapolis being the capital; it has to do with the state level politicians allocating resources and having the most power to do so.) And VA would never take us; I think most of VA wishes they weren't as inextricably linked to DC as they are.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
IMO - If they want a vote, then they need to make themselves the 58th state. As soon as that is completed, then they cna have a vote.
kranky kranky 8 years
Hainan- You bring up great points (especially about the states; rights). I haven't really gotten too far into the issue. At the moment, I just feel slighted. Especially now that we are dealing with the stimulus. I don't have the satisfaction of calling my representative to register my complaint. EHN cna't do anyhting for me. I think in terms of retrocession, the original idea was to make it hard for states to physically control the land aorund the government. They were worried about states taking over the government as well as setting up tolls, etc. As far as the City's current problems, things are looking up. We have an energetic mayor who is bucking the establishment. I wouldn't say we have completely recovered from Marion Barry's cronyism, but I'm getting hopeful.
skb9850 skb9850 8 years
If they don't want to be part of another state, then they should become their own state. It seems to be the cleanest way to give them representation.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
"Plus, there is the historical presidence of not wanting one state to control the geographical location of the Federal Government." Then what is the difference between a state and a district if you have the same representation in government ? I also don't understand those that can say retrocession is not the answer. When most of these people don't really understand nor care about states right, what is the difference of being part of one state or being your own, when it is the federal government is all that matters?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Kranky- then they should have never let residences be there. I say take the mall, that will now be the new dc and the rest could be split. Maybe with an actual state, the district won't have so many problems :shrug:
kranky kranky 8 years
Me and my "Taxation Without Representation" license plate agree - PLEASE give us a vote. While I don't relish the idea of another blue seat in Congress, you can't imagine how wildly frustrating it is to have NO SAY in most your Federal Government's policies. Plus, the Federal Government sets our budget. Ugh. I'm not convinced that MD or VA would want to take us on right now... this City has a host of problems and doesn't bring in much revenue. (Most 'businesses' are tax exempt because they are embassies, non-profit, or US government.) Plus, there is the historical presidence of not wanting one state to control the geographical location of the Federal Government.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I dont think they deserve to have a seat, they should meld with another state.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Didn't the Constitution come *before* the District of Columbia was set up? If so, I guess district representation wasn't foreseen. They deserve to have one Rep and one Senate seat. It's not like because they live where the President is, the President is their representative. Unless they just limit the boundaries of D.C. to government buildings [where nobody lives but the President and fam], and declare the rest of the city [where constituents live] either a new district or a city of an existing state. But that all seems complicated. They should at least get a Rep, though.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I think they should become a state and be represented.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
"I left the district and went to AMERICA to get my education mam." :rotfl: She did a really good job at looking offended. I never did understand the whole District of Columbia set up in school.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
"You can't make this stuff up as you go along."
liliblu liliblu 8 years
The land Washington, DC is made uo of was once a part of Maryland. Virginia took back the land it donated. So there is no way the land would go to VA. Washington, DC (the real DC) has its own culture and identity. Retrocession is not the answer. I have always thought highly of Eleanor Holmes Norton. I hope she keeps fighting the good fight.
HaterTot HaterTot 8 years
Neither VA nor MD wants us. It's a bad economic proposition for them. And frankly, we don't want to be part of them - nor should we have to be. While I don't relish the idea of another permanent Democratic seat in the House, the proposition that's getting the most traction will also give Utah a (presumably permanently Republican) seat as well.
zeze zeze 8 years
I think they should become part of Virginia...that makes the most sense. And EHN is hilarious!
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
I think they should become the constituents of either Maryland or Virginia. They should not have their own representative, unless they make a formal request to become a state.
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 8 years
it's totally taxation without representation- the people of D.C. deserve this.
stephley stephley 8 years
That's a perfect word for her!
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
i love it, she's a firecracker
stephley stephley 8 years
No one handles Colbert as well as Eleanor Holmes Norton - that alone should give her a vote.
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