April 21, Washington, D.C.
The House won’t vote this week — or even probably this year — on legislation that would grant the District of Columbia a voting representative in Congress, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader, said Tuesday.I’m a bit shocked that gun possession trumps the ability to give citizens representation
Mr. Hoyer said he was “profoundly disappointed” that the Congress would not consider granting Washington’s 600,000 residents a vote in the House, and conceded that it was unlikely that the bill would come up before the end of the current Congress.
“Every capital in the free world has this right, except D.C.,” he said. “It is a blight on democracy that we have not done so.”
Just last week, Democrats appeared to have the votes to pass the legislation. Both
Mr. Hoyer and Eleanor Holmes-Norton, the District’s nonvoting delegate in the House, issued statements suggesting that the vote would happen this Thursday, and President Obama weighed in to press members to pass the bill.
But those plans have been abandoned, apparently because the legislation is still mired in controversy over an amendment that would loosen the district’s gun-control laws. The City Council quickly dropped its support for the bill, as did Democrats opposed to expanding gun rights in the city.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, a longtime supporter of gun control legislation, vowed to oppose the bill if it reached the Senate. “This is not only bad legislation, it is also very dangerous,” she said in a statement.