The DC Representation Bill

The United States Senate has finally agreed to consider a bill that would give Washington, DC a voting Representative, along with adding a new Congressman for the state of Utah, which just missed adding a Representative after the last census in 2000.  This bill would raise the number of members of the House of Representatives permanently from 435 to 437, with the Utah seat up for contention after the 2010 census based on the population growth at the time.

This means we would see a Democratic seat added for DC and a Republican seat added for Utah.  It would rectify the wrong of not giving Washington, DC, which has the population of a small state, representation throughout its long history.  Just because DC is not a state does not mean that the district should be denied full representation in the House. 

Senator Robert Bryd, the senior member of the Senate, claims that this move to grant DC equal status is unconstitutional as DC is not a state and only states are to be given congressional representation.  This is, in my opinion, short sighted and unjust, but a solution would be to try again a constitutional amendment to make DC the state of Columbia.  The problem is that it is unlikely that the states would agree to create a state guaranteed to have two Democratic senators due to its heavy African American population.  This was the reason why the proposed amendment years ago collapsed after only a few states went along with that idea.

So despite Senator Byrd and constitutional "purists", the only way to give any justice to the nation’s capital is to push this idea of one voting Representative as one small token of accepting the legitimacy of the DC population’s right to representation.  Let us hope this action takes place very soon!

One comment on “The DC Representation Bill

  1. BS-Killer-​BS February 25, 2009 7:16 pm

    I agree with the President Pro Tempre Byrd. Just because it is the right thing to do, does not make it constitutional. As everyone should know, our constitution has a long history of doing the wrong thing. Just because a law is trying to right a wrong does not free it from the constitutional restrictions.

    However, I have a better compromise that does not require a constitutional amendment that would never pass.

    Make Washington D.C. the 51st State. All that is required in this case is that both houses of congress have a majority vote and Washington D.C. put forth an appropriate and acceptable State Constitution.

    Then they not only get the one vote in the House, but two votes in the Senate, and Utah gets none until the next census.

    See respecting the Constitution has its virtues.

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