Today, the House will consider H.R. 1433, the D.C. House Voting Rights Act. This bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), secures voting rights in the House for the District of Columbia. Specifically, the bill permanently expands the U.S. House of Representatives from 435 to 437 seats. The two-seat increase will provide a vote to the District of Columbia and a new, at-large seat through the 112th Congress to the state next entitled to increase its congressional representation. Based on the 2000 Census, Utah is the state next entitled to increase its representation.
This bill ends the 206-year-old injustice of ‘taxation without representation’ for over a half a million DC residents. Residents of the District of Columbia serve in the military, pay billions of dollars in federal taxes each year, serve on juries, and assume other responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. And yet, for over 200 years, they have been denied full voting representation in the Congress. The United States is the only democracy in the world that deprives the residents of its capital city full voting representation in the national legislature. Essentially, residents of every state have a vote regarding the laws that govern the District, while those living in the District itself do not.
Watch Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) on the House floor this morning:
“You are talking about Katherine Ray who lives here and is a mom and a librarian and a PTA President. You are talking about Larry Chapman who is a DC firefighter putting his life on the line for emergency response here and throughout the city. You’re talking about Liz Allen, an attorney who has had her first child and decided to raise her son here in the District of Columbia even though her family is denied a vote.”