House Vote on DC Voting Rights Act Further Delayed Due to Lack of Consensus on Gun Amendment
Majority Leader Hoyer Emphasizes his Continued Commitment to the Bill
For more information contact: James Jones, Communications Director
202.462.6000 x12 office / 202.557.4864 mobile / firstname.lastname@example.org
June 9, 2009
Washington, DC - The DC House Voting Rights Act (S.160/H.R.157) has been further delayed in the House following an attempt to remove an amendment that would gut the District's gun control laws. In a press conference today, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that there wasn't consensus on how to proceed with the bill and the proposed gun amendments.
On February 26, the bill passed the Senate with an amendment attached by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) that would have changed DC gun laws to make it legal to carry an unregistered firearm, removed vision requirements for gun possession and allowed for the legal purchase of guns outside the District.
"The fight is far from over," said Ilir Zherka, DC Vote Executive Director. "We will do everything in our power to pass the DC Voting Rights Act in this Congress. But, it's obvious that we'll also need to take our battle on guns to the next level. Unfortunately we know that the NRA will continue to find a vehicle for the Ensign amendment and we will fight this at every step."
Zherka noted that DC Vote has recently revamped its mission to include fighting for not only full congressional representation, but "full democracy."
"We have always engaged in local Home Rule issues," said Zherka. "But now we are empowered to use more of our resources to defeat the gun amendment."
He emphasized that the organization will continue its fight to get the DC voting rights bill passed. Majority Leader Hoyer also stated his commitment to the legislation. He told reporters that he "will not give up on this bill."
"We are so grateful for Majority Leader Hoyer's commitment to this issue," Zherka added. "We are confident that with the continued support of the House Leadership, that the DC Voting Rights Act will pass in the 111th Congress."