Kaine to Talk D.C. Voting Rights with Obama

WASHINGTON - While the latest effort to secure residents of the District of Columbia a vote in Congress is on life support - and dying a slow death - the chairman of the Democratic National Committee says he'll speak to President Obama about it.

Va. Gov. Tim Kaine, who heads the DNC, tells WTOP he knows Obama supports voting rights for the nation's capital.

"I would be very willing to talk to the president about the issue of District voting rights, which I support and I think the president does, too," Kaine said on WTOP's Ask the Governor Program.

Unexpected Voice Supports District Voting Rights

WASHINGTON - A major figure in the Republican Party said Friday he is willing to put a D.C. license plate on his vehicle that says "Taxation Without Representation."

Appearing on WTOP's "Politics Program With Mark Plotkin," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said he believes President Barack Obama should put a "Taxation Without Representation" license plate on his presidential limousine to show his support for D.C. voting rights.

When asked if he would consider putting such a plate on his vehicle, Steele said "absolutely."

D.C. Voting Rights Bill Shelved Until Further Notice

WASHINGTON - Legislation that would give District residents a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives was dealt a major setback Tuesday.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton pulled the bill after being unable to reach a compromise on a gun amendment attached to the legislation.

In an email obtained by WTOP, Norton wrote,

"Majority Leader Hoyer has been trying unsuccessfully to get the votes for a clean bill before the thick of the upcoming appropriations period and heavy legislation headed for the floor."

D.C. Voting Rights Bill to be Revived

WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders plan on bringing a revived D.C. voting rights bill to the House floor next Thursday.
Last year, the Senate passed a voting rights bill but it stalled in the House because pro-gun amendments were added that would weaken the District gun laws.

District leaders say they are now willing to accept the new gun laws if it means getting a vote in the House.

Norton: D.C. Voting Rights Bill Poised to Pass in '10

WASHINGTON - It's been in the works for years, but D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says time is of the essence for the D.C. voting rights bill.

Democrats in Congress "have got to get this bill passed now while we have a super-majority," Norton said Friday on WTOP's The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin.

Norton says she thinks 2010 is the year a bill giving the District a voting seat in the House of Representatives will become law.

However, Norton isn't commenting on the state of the bill just yet.

A Blow to DC Voting Rights

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer surprised District residents Tuesday with word that he couldn't come up with enough support for the bill, which would have given them voting representation for the first time in more than 200 years.

The problem, apparently, for many Democratic members: the bill would have also given DC new, looser gun laws, making it much more difficult for the District to regulate firearms within its borders.

Obama Urges House to Give D.C. Full Voting Rights

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is urging lawmakers to give the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has said he will bring a bill on the issue for a vote next week.

The statement comes on Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday commemorating the day President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in Washington. That was nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation.

D.C. leaders are using the holiday as an occasion to push for full voting rights for the city.

Attorney General Holder: 'I voted for Gray'

WASHINGTON - D.C. Council Chair and Democratic nominee for Mayor Vincent Gray met with one his many constituents Thursday. However, this supporter was far from your ordinary taxpayer.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder stopped by Gray's office to congratulate him on last week's primary victory.

"I wanted to come and congratulate our presumptive mayor," Holder told reporters after he hugged Gray in the lobby of the John A. Wilson Building.

Gray Plans to Take Up Voting Rights Issue With the White House

WASHINGTON - D.C. Democratic Mayoral nominee, and presumptive mayor-elect, Vince Gray says he wants to start a dialogue with the White House once he's in office.

Gray says he wants to discuss D.C. voting rights and several other issues.

"I'd like to know where the President stands on statehood for the city, and what he would be prepared to do to facilitate that," said Gray on Friday's The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin.

Group Gives Tea Bags To Tea Partiers

WASHINGTON (AP) - A group that promotes equal representation in Congress for Washington residents said it handed out several thousand tea bags at a rally on the National Mall headlined by tea party champions Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

Thousands of people attended Saturday's rally, which was organized by Beck, a conservative broadcaster, and Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee.

Ilir Zherka, the head of D.C. Vote, said his group handed out the tea bags to the crowd with the message "End Taxation Without Representation in D.C."