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DC Voting Rights Act Back on the Floor Today

Posted on by Karina

DC FlagOn March 22, the House considered H.R. 1433, the DC Voting Rights Act. During consideration of the Voting Rights Act on the floor, Republicans offered a motion to recommit the bill that was designed to kill the bill — sending it back to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform with instructions to add language repealing the District's ban on semiautomatic weapons and prohibiting the DC government from passing new gun control measures. As a result, the bill was pulled from the floor.

Today, the House will consider H.R. 1905, the DC Voting Rights Act, securing 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. The House will also consider a second bill, H.R. 1906, which includes provisions to pay for the costs of the DC Voting Rights Act.

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.

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