Pelosi Tells Norton and Fenty She Wants Voting Rights Bill Passed Next Week
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November 30, 2006
Washington, DC - The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) interrupted her planning for the new Democratic Congress to meet with Norton and Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty on Capitol Hill. The Mayor-elect pressed D.C. voting rights and Pelosi assured him of her support, including placing a priority on getting the Davis-Norton House D.C. voting rights bill through this lame duck session. The Speaker-elect is a sponsor of the bill and promised her continuing support if the current Republican majority does not take up the bill, as she is pressing them to.
Recognizing that the new Democratic House is committed during the 1st 100 legislative hours to six issues on which they ran and took control of the House (Six for '06), Fenty asked whether Pelosi would be willing to make an early statement in support of D.C. voting rights and she promised to do so at an appropriate early time.
Aside from voting rights, the two other top District priorities that were discussed were budget and legislative autonomy. Pelosi, who was on the D.C. Appropriations subcommittee at one time, spoke of some of the needless battles the District has been subjected to as a result of congressional interference in the District's affairs, including attempts to overturn D.C.'s gun ban and similar attachments against the wishes of city officials and taxpayers. The Speaker-elect said her involvement in many of those battles made her a particularly strong supporter of D.C. statehood and pending that, of the voting rights bill. Pressing for budget and legislative autonomy involves first going through the appropriate congressional committees.
Norton is pressing for a floor vote on the D.C. House voting rights bill when Congress reconvenes on Tuesday, December 5th. Norton said that if the Utah legislature passes a map for the additional Utah House seat on Monday, the D.C.-Utah voting rights bill could go to the House floor without committee action. Norton's office is working with the Davis staff to ensure quick consideration, but she has not been able to speak with the Congressman because he has been out of the country for the last few weeks.
Contact: Doxie A. McCoy