The Senate has approved a bill that would give the District of Columbia a voting Representative in the House. Heretofore the D.C. Congressperson has been “at large” (the current holder is Eleanor Holmes Norton) and doesn’t get to vote. The new voting member will be elected and seated with the next (112th) Congress. Utah, which by census increase is the next state owed added representation, will get an additional House member.
The bill comes attached to many gun-related amendments affecting the District — including a lifting of its assault-weapons ban — to which D.C. officials object, but which Senate sponsors Joe Lieberman and Orrin Hatch were content to let slide as “political horse-trading.”
The bill comes with a section concerning judicial review, which was thoughtful of the committee, as it will almost certainly receive a legal challenge.
The folks at D.C. Vote, who created a video and theme song for their demand for representation (“a great go-go song that entertains and educates”), must be ecstatic. Now can New York City get some of that — in the form of one Senate seat, at least? If we’re really going back to the 70s, we should also revive the 70s’ “51st State” movement endorsed by mayoral candidate and Voice alumnus Norman Mailer. Now may not seem like the best time, with so many downstaters holding power in Albany. But the tide of history is with us, and we think our upstate brethren wouldn’t object to our secession. Poster via Nikolas Schilkler’s Daily Render.