Norton Loses Her Vote on the House Floor

GOP-controlled House rescinds delegates' voting rights

By JIM ABRAMS
|  Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
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Norton Loses Her Vote on the House Floor

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Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty spoke as U.S. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) listened during a news conference on Capitol Hill Feb. 26, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Senate earlier passed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act.

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One of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives was to take away the floor voting rights of D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and five other delegates, the Associated Press reported.

Five of those delegates are Democrats, including Norton and delegates from Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa, while one, from the Northern Marianas Islands, is an independent.

The GOP decision to rescind the ability of delegates to vote on amendments on the House floor was the predictable outcome of a longtime dispute.

Democrats extended those voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House. Republicans disenfranchised the delegates when they became the majority in 1995, and Democrats restored delegate rights when they regained control in 2007.

Virgin Islands Delegate Donna Christensen called the Republican action "a very undemocratic way" to start the new Congress.


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