September 18th, 2007
05:39 PM ET
13 years ago

DC voting bill blocked in the Senate

Supporters of D.C. voting rights were on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The DC Voting Rights Bill failed to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate to reach cloture and move toward a vote Tuesday.

The bill would have given the District of Columbia the right to a representative in Congress with full voting rights. The District currently has an elected delegate who does not have the right to vote on legislation that comes to the floor of the House of Representatives, but can sometimes vote for legislation when it is considered at the committee level.

Supporters of the bill, including D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, claimed disenfranchisement for the nearly 600,000 residents of the city.

"Not since segregation has the Senate blocked a voting rights bill,” Fenty told a crowd during a rally, “and this is a voting rights bill."

Those against the bill argued the bill violated the constitution because the right to vote can only be given to citizens of states. Others feared that the bill would give the District a pathway toward gaining two seats in the Senate.

President Bush had threatened to veto the bill had it passed in the Senate.

- CNN Ticker Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: Political
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Last time I checked there are 50 states with elected representatives. Washington DC is not a state. Why would it have senate voting rights?

    Yeah, it must be a republican conspiracy. You know, that kind of conspiracy that actually makes use of the Constitution of the United States.

    September 19, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Derrick, Chicago IL

    Why doesn't Maryland just absorb DC as part of that state... Maryland would get a little more money for the state coffers, and DC would get some representation. Win-win for everybody.

    September 19, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. David, Arlington, VA

    Hmm, we could modify the Consitution to expand voting rights to 600,000 TAX-PAYING U.S. citizens, but, no, we wouldn't want more black people to have equal representation, what with their "socialist" views and all. And I love the arguments promoting a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Funny how most Republicans, especially the Bush administration, have no problem with messing with the Constitution when it comes to violating civil liberties, ignoring the Bill of Rights, and introducing amendments to ban gay marriage. Just so I have this correctly, you wouldn't mind an amendment banning gay marriage, but an amendment giving DC equal voting rights is out of the question. Does anyone else see a problem of skewed priorities here? Or blatant hypocrisy?

    September 19, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    It so reminds me of when the Democrats will talk about Bushs second term and say that "Gore really won the election" – the rules are – you need to win the electoral college....he did not – now...DC needs the right to vote – need to be a state (thats the rules) – and yet....they are throwing the overused (waaaah) card of the "disenfranchised voters" – how is it that people who can't fill out a simple ballot card and can't read (the constitution) – will always sway to the there a pattern there?? (you guys are in good company)

    September 19, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. James, Phoenix AZ

    David – Arlington, VA,

    Let's recap what will happen when democrats control Congress and the White House:

    1. Gay Marriage – whether the States and American people approve (they don't).

    2. Special voting rights for DC constituents – even though the Constitution specifically calls for "State" representation not "District" representation.

    3. Military orders dictated by Al Qaeda and the Taliban (All US soldiers immediately out of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc)

    4. A criminal investigation every time a gang of black youths beat up a victim outnumbered 6 – 1. The investigation will NOT be against the black youth – but against the prosector that filed ANY charges.

    5. Eliminating the tax burden of anyone earning $50K or less and increasing the already-dispoportionate tax burden on the "wealthy" (over $100,000). Robinhood socialism.

    6. Universal Hillarycare (socialize medicine) – costing only $110 Billion/year. Oh wait – they haven't yet considered the 15-20 million illegal aliens. Well, once amnesty is granted, it will only cost $200 Billion/year. And the model for success is "Social Security"... oh wait, it's going Bankrupt.

    7. NAFTA and Amnesty for illegal aliens. In other words – "border control" means having NO borders.

    Did we miss any of the wonderful solutions offered by the Democrats?

    September 20, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Jerry, Holland OH

    This isn't about Republicans disenfranchising voters, THIS IS ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION. Don't be stupid and stop blaming republicans for everything. Pay attention to the constitution.

    September 20, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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