The DC Voting Rights Act will come up for a floor vote on Thursday, and it needs the support of your Representative:
The bill was pulled from the House Floor last month after three legislators tried to attach a provision that would strip DC of its strict gun laws.
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The DC Voting Rights Act, sponsored by Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), balances a vote for the traditionally Democratic District of Columbia with a vote for Republican-leaning Utah. It would raise the number of members in the House of Representatives from 435 to 437.
The bill received wide bipartisan support in committee, and represents a real chance at ending the shameful situation forced upon DC residents. This bill is real and and it’s constitutional. Please don’t let this fail.
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. Itâ€™s called the â€œDistrict Clause,â€ Article 1, Section 8: â€œTo exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District.â€ 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.â€™s denial of voting representation has actually impacted Americaâ€™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 nationâ€™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 Americaâ€™s capital the right to vote in Congress.