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Lack of a Congressional Vote for Washington, D.C. - Your Thoughts?

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posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 09:41 AM
I don't dip my toes into Above Politics very often, but with the D.C. Voting Rights Act passing the House of Representatives yesterday (which was a great step forward), I was wondering what my fellow Above Politics members think about Washington D.C. not having a vote in Congress?

Put simply, Washington D.C. does not have a vote in congress because the constitution requires that House representatives come from states, and Washington D.C. is not a state.

I have to add this quote from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from yesterdays activities:

The United States is the only representative democracy that does not afford the citizens of its capital voting representation…This is not only a national disgrace, but an international embarrassment...

A few links:
Washington Post article on the passing of the D.C. Voting Rights Act.

Wikipedia Article on the lack of Congressional Representation for Washington D.C.

posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 09:47 AM
I think think this is just another brown smear on the U.S. Constitution. That's really all I have to say on the matter. No one seems to care anymore.

posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 10:59 AM

posted by DCFusion

“ . . the DC Voting Rights Act passing the House of Representatives yesterday which was a great step forward. I was wondering what my fellow ATP members think about Washington DC not having a vote in Congress? W-DC does not have a vote in congress because the constitution requires House representatives come from states, and W-DC is not a state. [Edited by Don W]

It will require a sea change in American politics before W-DC gets its own members of the House and concomitantly, 2 senators. That happened in 1932, so it is not impossible to see it again. The New Deal ended in 1938. That was a six year window of opportunity. But also keep in mind the Republican opposition to the New Deal never relented. Bush43's 2005 effort to gut the Social Security Act is my proof.

Perhaps another constitutional amendment giving DC house membership based on population, minimum 1, and 1 senator instead of 2, might get the approval of the several states? Republicans will always oppose either measure. Keep in mind the current House bill included awarding reliably Republican Utah another House member to offset the DC member. This will get nowhere in the Senate where 60 votes are required for any controversial bill. Maybe 2009? Like so many issues of fairness, equality and democracy, the Dems are as usual on the right side of history. The GOP is out there flailing about, denying first this then that basic right to the common folk.

History. Philadelphia - then our largest and leading city - had been the capital of the United States of America until after the Revolutionary War when it was moved to New York City. When the FFs drafted the new constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation, they compromised on moving the capital to a “noplace.” See my note below. Virginia and Maryland together offered the requisite 10 miles square - 100 square miles, 64,000 acres - at an undesirable site on the Potomac River. About equidistant between New York City and Savannah. For reasons I don’t know, Congress accepted the Maryland part but rejected the Virginia part. Hence the irregular southern boundary of the DC.

Note. US Con. Article 1, Section 8. “Cl. 17. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

Cl. 18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Amendment 23
1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate

DC does have about half of one representative. A delegate. There are 5 such half-way delegates to the House from American territories, although the delegate from Puerto Rico is called Resident Commissioner, I think. And, PR may have enough people to qualify for 2? American Samoa. US Virgin Islands and Guam being the other ones. For an example of self-serving corruption, read about Guam’s delegate.

The 5 delegates are accorded every “right” and accouterment of office except the right to vote on the final passage of a bill. In fact, I read one place where that is allowed too except that in a case where a delegates vote would be decisive, the delegate cannot vote. Hmm?

Good Luck!

[edit on 4/20/2007 by donwhite]

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