Legislative Bribery At Its Best. Or Worst.

Posted: Apr 16, 2010 10:47 AM
Depends on if you're Orrin Hatch, I guess.

Sen. Hatch was a onetime booster of a bill to give the District of Columbia a voting member in the House of Representatives despite most of the GOP being united against it. Why? Because the bill would give Hatch's home state of Utah an extra Congressman as well.

Conservatives pointed out that this was effectively a short-lived bribe to the state of Utah for their support. Due to population growth, Utah is likely to be given an extra Congressman upon completion of this year's census. The bill that Hatch supported (originally introduced years ago) would have given Utah an extra House vote until then.

Sen. Hatch has apparently now re-discovered his Constitutional bonafides upon alteration and later date of the bill. Congress is looking to re-consider a bill to bequeath a vote to D.C. Notwithstanding the myriad Constitutional problems with giving a single voting Representative to a non-state, the Senator is now concerned about the language of Utah's extra Congressman as an "at-large" seat.

Whatever one thinks of giving D.C. some kind of voting representation in Congress, it's clear that it would be perhaps the safest Democratic delegation in the country. I'm a resident of D.C. and, while I see the downside of having no voting representation in Congress, I'm convinced the current crop of proposals is quite clearly unconstitutional as well as seeing the upside in having D.C. exist as the "apolitical" national capitol.

And besides, if I placed that high of a priority on it, I'd move across the river to Arlington, Va.