S.160 - District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009

A bill to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives. view all titles (5)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives. as introduced.
  • Short: District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Short: District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 as reported to senate.
  • Short: Second Amendment Enforcement Act as passed senate.
  • Short: District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 as passed senate.

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Displaying 31-60 of 66 total comments.

  • theSaj 02/26/2009 11:18am

    I think that this is unconstitutional. But I’d support a Constitutional Amendment to add a Senator and two Congressmen for ALL non-state U.S. territories (D.C., Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, etc)

  • Anonymous 02/26/2009 1:16pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    We all agree the Constitution is a sacred document, but it’s unconscionable to believe that an American doesn’t have the right to have a representative vote on a law that we all must abide by.

  • cjstgeorge 02/26/2009 4:10pm

    For the best part of the last 8 years we have been complaining that George the Second has been shredding and ignoring the Constitution. And here we are, trying to do the very same thing. When its bad for them to do it but good for us to do it, Can you spell: Hypocrisy? We have 3 choices within one option. The only option is to obey the Supreme Law of the Land. Failure to do that would be to invite a slide toward anarchy. The 3 choices are: 1) Amend the Constitution; 2) Cede the residential areas of the District of Columbia to a State or States; 3) Forget it. My son is one American who does not have a representative in Congress. He lives in Italy. Should we establish a Congressional District or 2 or more for the ex-patriots of the world? How about a Congressional District for our Navy fleets at sea? For our land and air forces abroad? For our astronauts in space?

  • Comm_reply
    lxtkn1989 07/30/2009 12:51pm

    There’s a difference with the Military, Astronauts, etc in that they probably have a permanent address in one of the several states. They have voting representatives in congress. Any voting expats have addresses in the US that are used for their registration. Most residents of DC do not have other addresses outside the district. While I agree that the bill as written probably crosses the line into unconstitutional territory, I do not believe that option 3 is really that great of an idea. All acts of DC’s local gov’t go to Congress for approval, so essentially leaving DC without a voting rep is more akin to leaving any other city without a city council elected by the people, or a state without a governor elected by the people.
    A constitutional answer to this problem is necessary.

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  • Comm_reply
    glenja 02/27/2009 8:01am

    It’s such a shame??? What would be wrong with annexing all but the federally owned real estate into Va. or Maryland?

  • Comm_reply
    Herostratus 08/04/2009 8:20am

    Those states wouldn’t want the expense of a city with such a small tax base (as all the government buildings and non-profit entities don’t pay taxes yet use quite a lot of infrastructure). It’s also mostly a very poor city so income tax revenue is low.

  • Comm_reply
    reaper527 02/27/2009 6:19pm

    " If this bill gets ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court SHAME ON THEM. "

    if this gets ruled unconstitutional, it would be the right decision. look at the parts of the constitution quoted in this comment thread.

    no amendment, no way to justify this as constitutional. shame on YOU for disregarding the constitution.

  • JeffSimonds 03/01/2009 1:31pm

    Freedom of Speech in danger!! S.Amendment 591 to S.160 is where the real story is at. I’m not trying to take anything away from the S.160 comments though. A lot of people believe that Obama and other Dem’s in Congress don’t want the Fairness Doctrine and for most of them, they can legitimately say that they voted against it when they voted against the Broadcaster Freedom Act. However, the S. Amnd 591 to S.160 is the back door to the Fairness Doctrine. It is going to allow President Obama and his administration to decide when a radio station is or is not fairly giving air time to opposing views. He’s doing this establishing racial quotas and only allowing 10% of a stations air time to broadcast Nationally Syndicated programs. So any station not agreeing with certain view points will financially crushed for not obeying. Rush Limbaugh was right. LIberals can’t agree, so they just shut you up, or down in this case.

  • Moderated Comment

  • Anonymous 03/02/2009 4:42pm

    JeffSimonds is right. While I do not really have a problem with the D.C. representative amendment, I DO have a problem with the doors that are being opened to endanger freedom of speech.
    We just have to be really careful. A lot of those voting against this Act were probably voting against it because of the Fairness Doctrine issue…. not the Washington DC representative issue.

  • Anonymous 03/04/2009 4:53am

    Amendment 591 is bad news. If someone invests time, energy, and money to be able to broadcast their views on radio, they shouldn’t be forced to let other people piggybank on that investment.

    Obviously, this is yet another chipping-away at free speech rights. If we let this pass, it’ll be downhill from here. Imagine what would happen if they went after websites next!

    I can’t believe this was even proposed to Congress — not only is the main bill unconstitutional (since DC isn’t a state), but 591 is also a direct attack the First Amendment.

  • jdelaney3 03/04/2009 6:19am

    Much thoughtful commentary here. Unquestionably, DC’s American citizens should be allowed congressional representation. As one commenter noted DC wasn’t intended by our founding fathers to be a city, only the capital. But, now it’s a very large city with millions of effectively disenfranchised Americans. However, I think we would all agree that to enfranchise these folks requires a constitutional amendment. I see that S 160 foresees this Act’s being unconstitutional, thus it’s provision for expedited judicial review of the Act’s constitutionality. Once the Act is struck down, which I would hope it would be strictly on constitutional grounds, then let the amendment process begin in earnest. Would be heartening to see the Constitution preserved, protected and defended for a change.

  • rmcc4444 03/04/2009 9:31pm

    If this really about taxation w/o representation then amend the Constitution.

  • michele2007 03/06/2009 12:36pm

    They can pass all the laws they want but that doesn’t make them constitutional. This one would be unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court can’t be trusted to follow the constitution and rule accordingly.

  • jazz836062 03/25/2009 8:32am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    If you are a citizen of the United states you are guaranteed representation in congress to represent your districts opinions on issues. By not allowing D.C. to have anybody in congress you are abridging their right to representation within congress, whether or not D.C. is a state or not. There are people who need representation.

  • Comm_reply
    kennya 03/25/2009 1:33pm

    “If you are a citizen of the United States you are guaranteed representation in congress”

    Not true. If you are a citizen of one of the states of the United States, you are guaranteed that. If we need to amend the constitution to give residents of DC representation, then we should amend the constitution. If we need to redistrict the population of DC to be part of the states of Maryland and Virginia, then we should do that.

    But let’s not violate our constitution just because the people want a rep. We do NOT live in a democracy, governed by mob rule. We live in a constitutional republic. There is a difference, and our founding fathers specifically said they do not want to live in a democracy. A true democracy doesn’t have any need of a constitution.

  • Comm_reply
    fellowamerican 06/15/2009 9:09pm

    Please refer to Our Constitution;
    Preamble
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

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    fellowamerican 06/15/2009 9:11pm

    Section. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

  • Comm_reply
    fellowamerican 06/15/2009 9:13pm
    Section 8. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings. The District of Columbia, according to our Constitution, is the seat of our Government. It is not a state who needs representation in Congress or the Senate. The District is Congress and the Senate. How can Congress even consider this flagrant disregard of the Constitution with a vote! To Congress: PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION!
  • gmbun 03/27/2009 11:26am

    I am just so tired, fed up really with politicians in this country ignoring the Constitution and passing laws that suit their fancy. The Constitution should NOT be a “living breathing document” as some on left believe. Their is a proper way of changing the supreme law of the land and that is by amending it as described within it. Politicians should have the b—— to gut up and try to go about effecting the change they want properly.

  • ikinya6 03/28/2009 7:43am

    There are two arguments here: 1) whether DC should be represented in Congress, and 2) whether this bill is constitutional. Just because one argues that the bill is unconstitutional does not necessarily mean that one is against DC being represented in Congress. It is only saying that, if DC being represented in Congress is a desirable thing, it should be done in accordance with the Constitution. We have survived these last 220 years because we subject ourselves to a controlling document. Merely wanting something really, really badly does not justify short-cutting (and weakening) that document. If it worthy of doing, convince enough people to agree with you and make it happen… the right way.

  • jdelaney3 03/29/2009 6:39am

    Listening to Sen. Lieberman, I think the bill’s sponsors anticipated its’ being unconstitutional. But, what entity will actually step up and challenge its constitutionality before SCOTUS? I’m afraid there are precious few law makers on the Hill who much care about the Constitution. To do the right thing, the Constitution needs to be amended. in this anything-goes climate, don’t hold your breath.

  • jdelaney3 03/29/2009 6:50am

    Did S.Amdt. 591 (Durbin’s amendment) pass?

  • SethSS 03/31/2009 3:44am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    kennya’s statements are right on! Too many uninformed citizens think that we are a democracy. It’s all we hear from our schools and media. My greatest fear is that too many people, including politicians, could care less about the constitution and it’s too late to save it. I hope I’m wrong.

  • DianaAmerican 04/14/2009 8:49am

    People who live in DC, choose to live there. It is not a state, was never intended by our founding fathers to be a state.

    Very simply they don’t have to live there, there are 50 Sovereign States in the United States of America that constitutional have representatives.

    Capitalism, Where Art Thou?
    The U.S. Constitution, Where Art Thou?
    Freedom & Liberty, Where Art Thou?
    Honest Politicians who Aren’t in Violation of their Oath of Office, Where Art Thou?

    It seems apparent that Most of the politicians really do not care about “We The People”. Their “Love of Power” has taken over. There is a solution in the “The Bill of Rights”. Just read it.

    I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation Under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

  • Herostratus 08/04/2009 8:13am

    People who live in DC, choose to live there. It is not a state, was never intended by our founding fathers to be a state.

    Very simply they don’t have to live there, there are 50 Sovereign States in the United States of America that constitutional have representatives.

  • Comm_reply
    Herostratus 08/04/2009 8:16am

    Messed up on the buttons there… Meant to reply:

    Meant to reply to this:
    Do you seriously believe that’s true? The suburbs are expensive. I don’t have a car. I work in the city. I can’t just pick up and leave.

    How easy would it be for you to just pick up and leave your state if you decided you didn’t like it?

  • Herostratus 08/04/2009 8:18am

    The fact that as a DC resident I have no say in the national affairs of the country, other than the token single electoral vote, makes a mockery of everything the US is supposed to stand for as a ‘democracy’ and defeats the entire point of the Constitution.

    The regulations as they currently stand were designed when DC was meant to be a collection of government buildings across the river from George Washington’s plantation – where politicians would congregate during certain times of the year to discuss and vote, then go home (as they’d done in Philadelphia). It’s completely different now that it’s a major city with a full-time population (and even some of the politicians rarely go home).

  • Herostratus 08/04/2009 8:19am

    Add to that the right of Congress to overrule any law passed by the City Council and impose any law on the city that they see fit, the whole situation is no better than one would get in a totalitarian regime. We get Congress taking cheap shots at the city for political gain (blocking gun laws, budgets, drug policy, education, etc.) just to be able to tell constituents back home that they’re ‘tough’ on these various issues without having to actually make hard decisions that would impact their constituents.

    DC wasn’t even allowed to have a mayor until the 1960’s.

    I do enjoy having ‘Taxation Without Representation’ on the license plates.


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