I’ve long argued that in order to form a more perfect union 600,000 disenfranchised DC residents must gain voting representation in Congress. Last week marked a historic turning point as the Senate approved a bill that would achieve just that.
But there was a big hitch.
Twenty-two Dems joined every Republicanother than Sen. Richard Lugar in bowing to the NRA lobby and attaching a draconian amendment that would strip the District of its right to regulate guns. (Under this law, the District wouldn’t even be able to set age requirements for gun ownership.) So, when 61 Senators passed the final bill, what should have been a moment of unbridled celebration was understandably muted.
As Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, put it, the gun amendment was “going to cause problems.”
Now the House has a chance to pass a bill that is clean of old school political amendments that have nothing to do with the issue of taxation without representation. The House Rules Committeeis meeting today and will hopefully bar the gun amendment under the grounds that it’s not germane to the bill. The bill is expected to come to the floor on Thursday.
There is little doubt that the House will approve its bill — as it did last session — and then there will be a conference to reconcile the two versions.
Democratic leadership and your legislators need to hear from you right now. Tell them you want a clean bill that gives District residents the voting representation they deserve — no harmful amendments such as a gun amendment that have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue.