Dems May Use Defense Bill To Give DC a Seat in the House of Representatives

Meredith Jessup

10/17/2009 12:13:25 PM - Meredith Jessup
Since no politician wants to be accused of not supporting our troops, the Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to fill defense bills with trash that would likely not pass on its own merit. 

First they added controversial hate crimes legislation to the defense authorization bill on Oct. 8, and now, as CQ reports, they are considering a provision that would add a voting seat to the House of Representatives to represent the District of Columbia. 

For the first time in our nation's history, the seat of government would be given its own seat in government:

House Democratic leaders are considering floor action on a proposal to give the District of Columbia a full voting member in the House of Representatives.

The provision would be attached to the conference report on the fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill, which is expected on the floor within the next few weeks. ...

Republicans generally opposed that maneuver and are poised to oppose any other move to grant the nation’s capital full representation in the House.

The D.C. voting measure has long been a Democratic priority. A clue to House Democrats’ thinking came Thursday afternoon on the floor during the weekly colloquy about upcoming schedules. Republican Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy of California asked Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer if rumors were true that the Defense spending bill would include the D.C. vote bill.

“I’ve heard discussion,” replied Hoyer, D-Md. “I will continue to fight to find any way to bring that to the floor.”

The District’s non-voting House delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton , said the idea originated with Appropriations Committee members. She cautioned, however, that no decision has been made and that she has identified a number of ways that the language could come up for a vote.

Yet another snub to the U.S. Constitution by today's Congress...