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H.R.1015 - District of Columbia-Maryland Reunion Act
To provide for the retrocession of the District of Columbia to Maryland, and for other purposes.
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Mr. GOHMERT (for himself, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. CULBERSON, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. CHAFFETZ, and Mr. COBLE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(2) Article I, section 2, clause 1 of the United States Constitution states that the ‘House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) The Founding Fathers did not consider the proposed district that would become Washington, DC a State under the Constitution, as evidenced when Alexander Hamilton offered an amendment to the Constitution during the New York ratification to provide full congressional representation to Washington, DC, but the convention rejected the amendment on July 22, 1788. Thomas Tredwell stated at the same convention that the plan for Washington, DC ‘departs from every principle of freedom’ because it did not give residents full representation in Congress.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) Chief Justice Marshall held in Hepburn v. Ellzey in 1805 that the term ‘states’ in article I, section 2, clause 1 of the Constitution does not include Washington, DC for representation purposes.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) A Democrat-controlled Congress in 1978 attempted to amend the Constitution to provide Washington, DC with full congressional representation. The Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives reported the resolution and stated that granting congressional representation to the District of Columbia as it is presently constituted would require a constitutional amendment, because ‘statutory action alone will not suffice’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) Proposals to grant Washington, DC congressional representation will inevitably be challenged in court, calling into question the validity of any narrowly passed legislation that a Washington, DC member votes on and leaving Washington, DC residents in a continued state of flux over their status.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) Amending the Constitution requires two-thirds approval by each house of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the States. In 1978, there was success in obtaining a favorable vote from two-thirds of both the House and the Senate on a constitutional amendment to provide Washington, DC with full congressional representation, but the requirement for ratification by three-fourths of the States could not be obtained.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) An alternative to a potentially lengthy and difficult constitutional amendment process is ceding Washington, DC back to Maryland, just as an area of 31 square miles that was originally ceded by Virginia was returned to that State by Federal legislation in 1847, thereby ensuring that the portion of Washington, DC in Virginia would have Senate and House representation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(10) In 1847, there was a desire to allow the District of Columbia land on the west side of the Potomac River that was not being used by the Federal Government to have its own proper representation in Congress.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(12) Instead of trying to pass a constitutional amendment, Congress in 1847 legislatively ceded back to Virginia from the District of Columbia the non-Federal land composed of 31 square miles on the west side of the Potomac River.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(13) Accordingly, the District of Columbia would clearly and constitutionally have 2 Senators and a Representative with full voting rights by ceding the District of Columbia to Maryland after Maryland’s acceptance of such retrocession, while maintaining the exclusive legislative authority and control of Congress over the National Capital Service Area in the District of Columbia.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. RETROCESSION OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO MARYLAND.
(a) In General- Upon the issuance of a proclamation by the President under section 8 and except as provided in subsection (b), the territory ceded to Congress by the State of Maryland to serve as the District constituting the permanent seat of the Government of the United States is ceded and relinquished to the State of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Continuation of Federal Control Over National Capital Service Area- Notwithstanding subsection (a), the National Capital Service Area described in section 5 shall not be ceded and relinquished to the State of Maryland and shall continue to serve as the permanent seat of the Government of the United States, and Congress shall continue to exercise exclusive legislative authority and control over such Area.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. EFFECT ON JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
(a) Continuation of Suits- No writ, action, indictment, cause, or proceeding pending in any court of the District of Columbia on the effective date of this Act shall abate as a result of the enactment of this Act, but shall be transferred and shall proceed within such appropriate court of the State of Maryland as established under the laws or constitution of the State of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Appeals- An order or decision of any court of the District of Columbia for which no appeal has been filed as of the effective date of this Act shall be considered an order or decision of a court of the State of Maryland for purposes of appeal from and appellate review of such order or decision in an appropriate court of the State of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. NATIONAL CAPITAL SERVICE AREA.
(a) Description- The National Capital Service Area referred to in section 3(b) is comprised of the principal Federal monuments, the White House, the United States Capitol, the United States Supreme Court Building, and the Federal executive, legislative, and judicial office buildings located adjacent to the Mall and the United States Capitol (but shall not include the District Building), and is more particularly described as the territory located within the following boundaries:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Beginning at the point on the present Virginia-District of Columbia boundary due west of the northernmost point of Theodore Roosevelt Island and running due east of the eastern shore of the Potomac River;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
thence following generally south and east along the side of the Washington Channel at the mean high water mark, to the point of confluence with the Anacostia River, and along the northern shore at the mean high water mark to the northernmost point of the Eleventh Street Bridge;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
thence generally south along the eastern shore at the mean high water mark of the Potomac River to the point where it meets the present southeastern boundary line of the District of Columbia;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) shall include the Department of Housing and Urban Development Building, the Department of Energy Building, Fort Lesley McNair, the Washington Navy Yard, the Anacostia Naval Annex, the United States Naval Station, Bolling Air Force Base, and the Naval Research Laboratory; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) shall not include any portion of Rock Creek Park, any portion of Anacostia Park east of the northern side of the Eleventh Street Bridge, or any territory not located in the District of Columbia on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. TRANSITION PROVISIONS RELATING TO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
(A) the individual serving as the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia shall serve as a member of the House of Representatives from the State of Maryland;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) INCREASE NOT COUNTED AGAINST TOTAL NUMBER OF MEMBERS- The temporary increase in the membership of the House of Representatives provided under paragraph (1) shall not operate to either increase or decrease the permanent membership of the House of Representatives as prescribed in the Act of August 8, 1911 (37 Stat. 13;
(1) IN GENERAL- Sections 202 and 204 of the District of Columbia Delegate Act (
(2) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on the date on which the individual serving as the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia first serves as a member of the House of Representatives from the State of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 7. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS.
No law or regulation which is in force on the effective date of this Act shall be deemed amended or repealed by this Act except to the extent specifically provided in this Act, or to the extent that such law or regulation is inconsistent with this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. PROCLAMATION REGARDING ACCEPTANCE OF RETROCESSION BY MARYLAND.
(a) Proclamation by State of Maryland- Not later than 30 days after the State of Maryland enacts legislation accepting the retrocession described in section 3(a), the President shall issue a proclamation announcing such acceptance and declaring that the territory ceded to Congress by the State of Maryland to serve as the District constituting the permanent seat of the Government of the United States has been ceded back to the State of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Director of the Congressional Budget Office shall prepare a report analyzing the anticipated economic impact on the State of Maryland of the State’s acceptance of the retrocession described in section 3(a), including the anticipated effect on the budgets of the State government and local governments, and shall submit the report to Congress and the governor of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) DELAY IN ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION- The State of Maryland may not enact legislation accepting the retrocession described in section 3(a) until the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on the date the Director of the Congressional Budget Office submits the report prepared under paragraph (1) to the governor of Maryland.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.
The provisions of this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date the President issues a proclamation under section 8 or the date of the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States repealing the twenty-third article of amendment to the Constitution, whichever comes later.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink