Dems Ditch Plans for DC Voting Rights Bill

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Posted: Apr 20, 2010 12:11 PM
Democrats on Capitol Hill have abandoned their plans to bring a bill to the House floor that, if passed, would grant full voting representation in Congress for the District of Columbia. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., suggested today that other issues on the Dems' agenda are more important and have sidelined the DC voting bill.  Democrats had originally hoped to bring the bill to the floor for a vote this week, but now concede the legislation may be dead for the year. 

Politico reports that Hoyer made the decision to pull the bill with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC's non-voting representative in Congress.  Holmes was reportedly uncomfortable with gun legislation being attached to the bill.

Hoyer said he is "profoundly disappointed" the bill won't be brought up during this session of Congress. "I believe that the bill that should be adopted would extend [voting rights] to the residents of the capital city of the world's greatest democracy... That bill should be unfettered by any other provisions," he said.

The U.S. Constitution grants congressional voting representation to the states.  The District of Columbia, however, was established as a federal territory under the complete authority of Congress. 

When asked what sidelined the bill for the year, Hoyer replied, "the price was too high."