Norton Supports Voting Rights Bill, Gun Amendment and All

DC vote bill could be back in House next week

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    Members of Congress could as early as next week vote on a bill that would give D.C. a voting member of Congress, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.

    D.C.'s nonvoting representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton, also said the vote could come next week.

    The Senate passed a bill granting D.C. a vote more than a year ago, but senators added a gun amendment that would repeal strict gun registration requirements in the city and restrictions on semiautomatic weapons. The bill then stalled without a vote in the House.

    Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said that the bill lawmakers are working on still includes some version of that amendment.

    But the time for voting rights is now, Norton said.

    "The strength of gun forces in the Congress has grown, not diminished, over the year since we began working, first to get a clean bill, and, if not, to reach a compromise on the gun amendment," Norton said. "It is now clear that the gun amendment can be passed as a stand-alone bill or attached to another piece of legislation, and we see no better opportunity in sight for voting rights for our residents."

    She noted the diminishing Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate as reasons to push the current voting rights bill through.

    The bill would actually add two new members, one for the Democrat-heavy District and another for the Republican-leaning Utah.