The DC Voting Rights Act - 2009, 111th Congress
Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D-DC) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
The DC House Voting Rights Act (H.R.157/S.160) is bipartisan legislation that would bring congressional voting representation to DC residents for the first time ever.
On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), introduced the DC House Voting Rights Act (H.R.157) in the House of Representatives. On the same day, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the DC House Voting Rights Act (S.160) in the Senate. The language of the bill in the House is the same as the legislation that passed in the 110th Congress, and the language of the bill in the Senate is the same as the bill that made it to the Senate floor in the 110th Congress.
On Thursday, February 26, 2009, the U.S. Senate passed the DC House Voting Rights Act (S.160) in a vote of 61-37 (Senate Roll Call Vote #73). The bill was amended to include changes to DC gun laws, an amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV). The gun amendment to the bill was approved in a vote of 62-36 (Senate Roll Call Vote #72).
The House Rules Committee is now working on details of the legislation and House Leadership is hopeful that the bill will come up for a vote soon.
Read More About the Bill
Fast Facts on the DC Voting Rights Act
What Does It Do?
- The bill permanently expands the number of members of the House of Representatives from 435 to 437 seats.
- DC residents would have their first-ever voting member of the House of Representatives. The DC Delegate position would be eliminated.
- It also adds a seat to the next state in line to gain a Representative based on U.S. Census numbers. Currently that state is Utah.
What's Happening Now
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- DC Vote is working closely with members of Congress, committee staff, local elected officials and coalition partners to bring a clean DC Voting Rights Act - free of harmful amendments - to a swift vote in the House and on to President Obama's desk for his signature.