April 19, 2010
After casting a career-defining vote in favor of Big Government Obamacare, congressional liberals know that they have little time left as the majority party in Congress, so they are pushing hard for all the little-known leftist bills that have been sitting in dusty desk drawers for decades. One such piece of legislation is the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act. Just last week, President Obama called on Congress to get this bill passed and to his desk before November 2010 rolls around.
Sponsored by DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 (H.R. 157) would establish full House of Representatives voting rights for the District of Columbia while adding an additional seat to Utah, a traditionally Republican stronghold and the next state in line to pick up a Congressional seat in reapportionment. However, there is one minor problem: D.C. is NOT a congressional district or a state!
The D.C. House Voting Rights Act aims to accomplish the following:
- Subvert the District Clause of the U.S. Constitution - Article I, Section 8, clause 17 - which makes clear that D.C. is a federal city, not a state, with final governing authority resting with Congress. The U.S. Constitution states that the House shall be composed of "Members chosen...by the People of the several States," not delegates representing non-state territories.
- Silence critics of D.C. voting rights by buying them off with a "sure Republican" seat because they know the D.C. seat will be a solid Democrat. In the last 12 elections since D.C. was granted the right to cast presidential electoral votes, it has never cast less than 74.8 percent of its popular vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. This move is simply a partisan trade-off by the congressional liberal Majority wanting to add a permanent Democrat vote to their tallies.
- Bribe Republicans to favor the idea by including a provision to increase the number of House Members from 435 to 437 and give the extra Representative to Utah.
- Lay the initial groundwork for achieving the ultimate goal of establishing two permanent Democrat Senate seats for the District. If the initial inclination is for DC to be "considered a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives," then the idea for DC to be "considered a state for the purposes of representation in the U.S. Senate," will not be far down the road.
Simply introducing a bill such as this is unconstitutional! DC cannot be "treated as though it were a congressional district," unless it were formally made a congressional district via a constitutional amendment, which would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress as well as three-fourths of the states to ratify it.
This is nothing new from the Left. Congressional liberals have been trying to grant full voting rights to the District of Columbia since the 1980s. The maiden attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution through the "D.C. Representation" Amendment was unsuccessful, after it passed Congress but was rejected by the American people and died on August 22, 1985 after a decisive majority of 34 of the 50 states refused to ratify it. Now, Members of Congress are attempting to forgo the constitutional process and slip one past the American people in order to accommodate their political agenda!
Remember, the Senate passed its version of the DC Voting bill (S. 160) by a vote of 61 to 37 (Roll Call 73) in February 2009. However, that bill stalled in the House because it contained a Senate Republican-offered amendment which repealed strict DC gun laws. Although the language of H.R. 157 has not yet been made public, the bill is expected to contain either the same or similar gun provisions, and although many House liberals favor DC gun control laws, it is likely that the liberal House leadership will approach this legislation in much the same way it did Obamacare: Pass it now, fix it later.
The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 157 on Thursday, April 22, 2010! Please call and email your representatives and tell them to vote NO on this unconstitutional bill!
Be sure to focus your calls on Republicans and Democrats alike, as various Republican "moderates" have been known to support this attempted scheme in the past and some Democrat "moderates" have opposed it.
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121