Opposition Grows To Undemocratic Disapproval Resolutions on DC

February 21st, 2023

Patrice Snow
[email protected]

Washington, DC – Today, DC Vote along with over 120 allied organizations, sent a letter to the United States Senate arguing against the two undemocratic disapproval resolutions heading to the full Senate for a vote that is attempting to overturn legislation lawfully passed by the DC Council. When DC Vote sent the first letter to the House of Representatives ahead of the February 9th vote, there were 115 signatories. But today, because of the attacks on Washington, DC’s autonomy and sovereignty, that number has grown to over 120 signatories. In light of these positive developments, DC Vote’s communications director Patrice Snow released the following statement:

“As I have said from the very beginning of this undemocratic practice happening to the people of DC, passing these two disapproval resolutions to overturn pieces of legislation that were passed lawfully by the DC Council is yet another attempt to undermine our District’s will, thwart the DC Statehood movement, and repeal the Home Rule Act. Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty, who resides in Gallatin, Tennessee, is apparently leading the charge in the Senate to overturn legislation without scheduling one hearing where a DC resident or a DC elected official will be allowed to speak on the merits of revising the criminal code or allowing all residents, regardless of their immigrant status, to participate in only local elections.”

Snow finished, “Over 120 groups have joined us in calling for autonomy and self-governance for the people of DC. These groups have signed a letter addressed to Senate leadership and copied to all members of the United States Senate because the never-ending attacks on our local government is not just unacceptable, it’s unsustainable and dangerous to any nation that calls itself a representative democracy. Only DC’s 700,000 tax paying residents and their locally-elected leadership should decide what is best for the District of Columbia.”

The letter reads:

Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Cc: United States Senators

Dear Senate Leadership: 

We, the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans from across the country, are concerned about H.J. Resolution 24, “Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022” and H.J. Resolution 26, “Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022,” recently transmitted from the House for agreement by the United States Senate. 

These two measures unjustly undermine critical local decisions made by the people of the District of Columbia and their elected leadership. Policy disagreement between the legislative and executive branches of the local District government should not give license to Congress to continue the paternalistic intrusion through disapproval resolutions. The people of the District, like the people of the States, maintain the ability to both choose their local leadership and hold them accountable through local elections.  No State is subject to an additional layer of review and consent to local decisions and the additional burden here serves no legitimate Federal purpose. 

The Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022 and the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 were passed through the District’s legislative process via regular order. The Council held hearings and heard from witnesses on each bill and they were voted on and approved by the Council.

H.J Res 24 and H.J Res 26, on the other hand, did not receive hearings in the House of Representatives and no residents of the District of Columbia were allowed to testify in favor or in opposition to either measure. With no representation in the United States Senate, the people of DC will be excluded from the consideration of these measures once again should they not go through the regular Senate process. 

We, the undersigned, urge the Senate to reject the referred H.J. Res 24 and H.J. Res 26 and preserve the self-governance of the 700,000 people of Washington, DC. 


DC Vote

Alliance for Justice

All Souls Church Unitarian

American Civil Liberties Union

American Civil Liberties Union of DC

American Ethical Union

American Family Voices

American Federation of Government Employees

Anacostia Coordinating Council

Arab American Institute

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

Brookland Huddle for the Future

Broward for Progress

CapitalBop, Inc.

Capital Stonewall Democrats

Center for Common Ground

Center for Disability Rights

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Center for Popular Democracy

Church World Service

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Clean Elections Texas

Common Cause


Concerned Citizens Demanding Change Inc. (DC)

Council for Court Excellence

DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

DC Democratic State Committee

DC Developmental Disabilities Council

DC Environmental Network

DC Fiscal Policy Institute

DC for Democracy

DC Jobs With Justice

DC Justice Lab

DC Statehood Coalition

DC Statehood Green Party

DC Voters for Animals 

Death with Dignity

Declaration for American Democracy

Defending Rights & Dissent

DemCast USA

Democracy Amendments Coalition Inc.

Democracy for America Advocacy Fund

Democratic Messaging Project


Drug Policy Alliance

Economic Policy Institute

Endangered Species Coalition

Faith in Action for Social Justice

Family Values @ Work

Federation of Community Associations

Friends of the Earth US



Greenpeace USA

GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic

Harriets Wildest Dreams

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda


Indivisible Chicago Alliance

Indivisible Marin

Indivisible Northern Nevada

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Justice Policy Institute

Lake Research Partners

League of Conservation Voters

League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia

League of Women Voters of the United States

Legal Aid DC

Long Live GoGo

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)

Maryland/DC State Council of Machinists, IAMAW

Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO

More Than Our Crimes

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

NARAL Pro-Choice America

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Council of Jewish Women

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Employment Law Project

National Women’s Law Center

Neighbors United for DC Statehood

Netroots Nation

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

NextGen America


Our Revolution

Physicians for Reproductive Health

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC

Public Citizen

Public Justice Center

Rachel Carson Council

Reale Justice Network


Sierra Club


SPACEs In Action

Stand Up America


Take on Wall Street, a project of Americans for Financial Reform


The Action Lab at the Center for Health Policy and Law

The Hub Project

The Workers Circle

Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

United Nations Association of the National Capital Area

Venice Resistance

Voices for Progress

Washington AIDS Partnership

Washington Ethical Society

Washington, D.C. Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society

Washington Parks & People

Who Speaks For Me?

Woman’s National Democratic Club

Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia