Eleanor Holmes Norton Channelling Gandalf

Gandalf the Grey

Originally uploaded by Dunechaser.

Dreier: Will the gentlewoman yield?

Holmes Norton: I will not yield, sir. The District of Columbia has spent 206 years yielding to people who would deny them the vote. I yield you no ground. Not during my time. You have had your say, and your say has been that you think the people who live in your capital are not entitled to a vote in their House. Shame on you.

Good on ya, Eleanor! Tell ’em how it is.

The DC Voting Rights Act passed today, and you can see DCist’s blow by blow coverage of the entire debate from today. The conclusion? It passed, but it’s linked, oddly, to a budget bill. If both don’t pass, the DC remains voteless.

3 Comments so far

  1. Max (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

    Way to go, Eleanor!

    If it does somehow pass, I’m sure the Senate will promptly shoot it down.

  2. dc sleeper (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

    The DC Vote legislation (HR 1905) was linked to the separate appropriations bill (HR 1906) for a VERY good reason. In March, Rep. Smith attached a motion to recommit with a consideration of a gun ban repeal. Legislatively stuck, the Democratic leadership pulled that bill. With these two separate bills, Congresspeople intent on restricting DC residents’ access to democracy could not attach any such motion. There was still some legislative stonewalling today, but both bills passed. Huzzah! Today was a historic day under the fantastic leadership of Del. Norton, Rep. Hoyer, and Rep. Lewis, among others.

  3. Mike (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 5:12 pm

    D.C. residents absolutely deserve a vote in Congress.

    FEDERAL TAXES: Like the rest of Americans, and unlike other territories like Guam, D.C. residents pay FEDERAL taxes. They actually pay the highest amount in taxes per capita in the nation. Can you imagine paying federal taxes, but having no vote on how your tax dollars are spent???

    SOLDIERS IN WAR: Like the rest of Americans, and unlike other territories, D.C. residents have also fought and died in every American war stretching back to the War of 1812. Currently, they have no vote on whether or not their residents get sent to war. Think of screwed up that is alone.

    DEMOCRACY: D.C. is the only capital of a democracy IN THE WORLD that is not allowed a vote in their national legislature. Even the people living in Baghdad can vote for a federal representative. In this case, Iraqis have more democracy than America.

    CONSTITUTIONAL: The Constitution gives the Congress the power to do whatever it wants with the District. It’s called the “District Clause,” Article 1, Section 8: “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District.” In 1800, Congress took away voting rights from D.C. using that power. That same power gives them the right to give it back. Conservative thinkers like Kenneth Starr (Clinton impeachment) and Viet Dihn (author of the Patriot Act) have come to the same conclusion. It is fair and will stand. A Constitutional amendment is unnecessary.

    NO NET GAIN: Since Utah will also get an extra vote in Congress, there is no net gain for either party. This follows the tradition of introducing states like traditionally Democratic Hawaii and traditionally Republican Alaska at the same time.

    FOREIGN POLICY: D.C.’s denial of voting representation has actually impacted America’s ability to carry out foreign policy. Rogue nations with poor human rights records argue that America cannot claim total innocence as they deny voting rights to the residents of their nation’s capital city. This has been an effective tool for countries with horrible records to continue their abuses.

    I realize that it is a lot to swallow. But truly, it is time to give the residents of America’s capital the right to vote in Congress.

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