Greg Kaufmann, who has been blogging about the DC voting rights legislation, writes that events have reached a critical stage and Nation readers can play a crucial role.

Is there anything that gets Republicans more fired up than cutting taxes and services, and denying 600,000 DC citizens the right to a voting Representative in the House?

As I indicated in my last post, GOP Senators have responded to the historic 62 votesthat brought the DC Voting Rights bill to the floor by offering about five poison pill amendments — including barring the Fairness Doctrine, handing DC off to Maryland, and allowing people to carry concealed weapons. But it’s the amendment to repeal local gun control laws that could ultimately kill this bill if it’s passed.

According to the Washington Post, none other than Joe Lieberman — who to his credit is one of the leaders of this fight in the Senate — said of the amendment that “it would remove prohibitions on gun ownership for children, chronic alcoholics and people who have been voluntarily committed to psychiatric institutions in the past five years.”

The problem is this: there is a chance that too many Dems who fear the NRA could vote in favor of it, attaching it to the bill. If it’s attached to the bill it might be tough to remove it in conference (a clean bill will in all likelihood pass the House as it did last session), and Washingtonians will have lost their best chance at voting representation.

“We need support from people in helping to defeat the gun amendment,” Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of DC Vote told me in an email.

Senators need to hear from you now: tell them not to support the gun amendment on a historic Voting Rights bill. That’s exactly the kind of old politics people voted against in November.

Call the US Capitol switchboard now at 202-224-3121 and talk to your Senators.
–Written by Greg Kaufmann