February 26th, 2009
04:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Senate approves DC voting bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Senate approved legislation Thursday that would give the District of Columbia a vote in Congress.

The measure would give full voting rights in the House of Representatives to the district's congressional delegate, whose activity is currently limited to committee votes and procedural issues.

The measure also gives a new House seat to the state of Utah.

The bill now moves to the House, where it is considered likely to pass.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    This is so unconstitutional. Only states can vote in congress.

    February 26, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. J, Lane Clouser

    This is a terrible idea – the State of Utah will most likely receive an additional seat after the 2010 census regardless of whether DC's representative is granted voting privileges, not to mention this flies in the face of The Constitution.

    February 26, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Matt, Chico, CA

    Great... another anti-gun vote in the House

    February 26, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Kent

    I agree completely that citizens living in DC should have a voting representative in the congress. But wouldn't this require an amendment to the US Constitution?

    February 26, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. JDUB

    Obama brought freedom and justice to America. This is the kind of change I'm talking about. Also, for you fiscal conseratives out there, bringing freedom and justice to D.C. was far cheaper than IRAQ. Score 1 for the pocket book.

    February 26, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Change is coming!

    This is a good thing... this is change that I am in agreement!

    February 26, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Mark

    The Founding Fathers were very specific when they set up DC. Article One, Section 8, of the United States Constitution places the District of Columbia exclusively under Congress. If DC wants a vote then they need to reunite with Maryland.

    February 26, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Ray Fisher

    Tis refreshing to witness the marvelous transformation affecting our nation after the storms of discord have passed. Who could have imagined so many changes in such a short time??? D.C.has lived 233 years without a vote in Congress and in a few short weeks an inspiration in the form of a good man has thrust progress not upon us but within our grasp. True leadership needs no encouragement only the removal of obstacles. Thank you Mr. President for obstacle remonal!!!

    February 26, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. pam

    Wow, this is good news. All should have a vote if taxes are paid and the last time that I looked, D.C. residents pay taxes!

    February 26, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. Mike

    Could you explain this extention on unemployment does the state of Co.witch iswhere I"m at have to be 6%or above to recieve an extention? That is what what my unemployment office says.My house is being foreclsed and I"m in the process of moving and I need help to move and I"m laid off right now looking for work.

    February 26, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. mike

    Another example of the left destroying the Constitution.

    February 26, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Cry Me A River GOP


    While I agree with you that there are constitutional grounds on why DC cant have voting rights. Then we should not be taxing people who live in the district. Not fair! We need to stop telling 600,000 people they do not have a voice in our government. Maybe DC should reunite with Maryland.

    February 26, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. C W

    D.C. is not a state and therfore should not have voting rights. It is a city; if it wants the rights of a state, it must also do everything else a state does.

    If D.C. is willing to do that, I don't have a problem with it.

    February 26, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. How to disarm the Taliban: Tax Cuts!

    Okay, we get guys, your smart and you can read the Constitution.

    Question: Are you so naive to think that everyone involved in this process is not aware of that as well.

    There should be an emmissions tax on people's mouths everytime someone posts common sense rhetoric.

    I'll give you an example of what it sounds like:

    Common blogger: Aren't you supposed to breath in order to stay alive?

    February 26, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Ravi

    To those of you asking why Utah gets another seat, it is because the House needs to have an odd number of seats. So you can't add just one seat (DC's population translates to one seat), so a second had to be added. Utah gets the second seat because it is the CLOSEST of all states to being underrepresented in the House and Electoral College based on its population.

    That said, I believe that this law is unconstitutional because DC is not a State, and only States have the right to be represented in Congress. What's next, giving 2 senate seats to DC???

    February 26, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Frank, Las Vegas

    It's funny how the people here who are against this have a representative who can vote and yet they are against DC having the same right to be heard. Perhaps if those people lived in DC they might have a different outlook. But it's all because the Constitution says the word "state". Let's use some common sense people, DC residents have all the responsibilities of a citizen, but no voice. It's about time we lived up to the spirit of the Constitution and not just one word in it. Really folks, get a grip.

    February 26, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Nobama

    LOL... this will be just beautiful....

    DC gets a seat
    Utah gets an extra seat

    DC seat challenged in Court and ruled unConstitional. Utah remains with extra seat.

    Obama just scored for the other team! DOH

    February 26, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. B Wike

    Every US citizen deserves representation.

    February 26, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. dctaxpayer

    So, would everyone then please write to your reps, and tell them to stop taxing us? I may be a minority (in many ways here in DC) because I am a conservative, but give me representation, or don't tax me. Seems simple. Oh, and we are working on statehood here in DC. And if you all really want change in Washington, change some of the morons you all send here (and yeah, we already know about Barry, ha ha– I didn't vote for him). Your reps control our budget, have destroyed our schools (yeah, we have to answer to a 'state' board of ed). So, tell your reps to stop messing with our city. You can also lobby your reps to have the Federal Govt property tax to the city– that would help us out.


    DC Taxpayer

    February 26, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. D.C. Resident

    –"Mark" points out that the District of Columbia is subject to the powers of Congress. Then, why would it be a problem if the Congress empowers it with full political powers in the House of Representatives?

    "Emmanuel Goldstein" points out that the Constitution provides that the House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States". I hate to break it to Emmanuel, but currently there up to 440 members of the House, not 435. Granted, the additional five do not have voting rights in the Committee of the Whole, but they are indeed members of the House of Representatives. The five additional Members are not from jurisdictions admitted as a federated state.

    Also, not all members are chosen every second year. This is an illusion. The House member for the at-large district of Puerto Rico is chosen every fourth year. The U.S. Supreme Court has never struck the statute allowing this as being unconstitutional.

    –"cedgar" reminded us that the Senators have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. "cedgar" conveniently forgets the Constitution also demands a republican form of government. Governance without the consent of the governed is unconstitutional. Not giving the District of Columbia and the organized, unincorporated territories national political rights is therefore unconstitutional.

    –Those that narrowly define the term "State" often ignore the wording of the Constitution that created the State militias, or National Guard. There are National Guards in the de-facto states of the Union, such as Puerto Rico. Is the Puerto Rico National Guard also unconstitutional?

    February 26, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. The truth squad

    dc is not a state if you want to vote move to md better yet move oversees

    February 26, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Simmy

    Bipartisan and comrades,

    Why is it that Dems. who talk about "Blue Dogs" are "jackals?" Some of us simply feel that they should come out of the closet, and not become a faction within the same party. They don't serve the Democratic agenda.

    Notice how quickly your "anti-Obama" crew began to chime in, with joy, at your remarks. That to me is more jackalish than any comments Democrats have made. It's like this, you're either for US or against US. Every individual must decide for him/herself. Republicans were united in their efforts to vote against the Stimulus Package. Although they were unpatriotic in their gesture, they were unified. President Obama can't depend on Republicans to support him, so he should be able to count on his party. Taylor was also one who didn't support the S-Pack. He's also from a RED state.

    February 26, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. worriedmom

    Change is coming allright! obviously Obama's adm and kool aid drinkers do not care about the Constitution! This man is going to destroy our country and its values.

    February 26, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Don Mathison

    Doesn't anybody care about our Constitution anymore. This is in direct violation of the U. S. Constitution. If they want to make this change it must be done by a Constitutional Amendment. It can not be done by just politicians.

    February 26, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Bipartisan

    @ Ray Fisher

    Hey I support Obama too, man. But jeez, it almost sounds like you want to make out with him.

    February 26, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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