It seems the Democrats have been working on a bill in the House of Representatives which wouldgive the District of Columbia a full rights seat in the House (there’s more to the bill, but I’m just zoning in on the big target of the bill – bear with me, please). Part of the argument for the bill is that denying DC residents full Congressional representation is unconstitutional. On the surface, that seems like a reasonable claim (to me at least). From the discussion of the bill, we even get:
“Continued disenfranchisement of more than half a million Americans is unconscionable, indefensible and wrong,” said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.
Republicans have been delaying the vote on this bill because the Constitution states that congressional seats are to be apportioned among the statves, and DC is not a state. Republicans, however, finally agreed to move forward with the vote with one ammendment to the bill. What ammendment? Well…
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, offered a motion to recommit the voting representation bill (HR 1433) and instruct a House committee to add language repealing the District’s ban on semiautomatic weapons and prohibiting other local gun-control laws.
Put simply, the Republicans have decided they are ready to move forward with the vote, provided wording is put in to stop the DC government’s unconstitutional limits on gun rights. This sounds like a win-win situation – Democrats get to end what they call an unconstitutional ommission of the District from full congressional representation, while Republicans get to end an unconstitutional restriction of gun owners’ rights in the District. However, with this new ammendment, the Democrats suddenly aren’t so eager for the bill to move forward to a vote.
The voting representation bill was set aside while the Democratic leadership regrouped.
Before a vote is rescheduled, a leadership aide said, the Rules Committee will be asked to produce a new rule for consideration of the bill that would prohibit the GOP from incorporating gun language.
You know, thinking back to the time I lived near the District, I seem to recall it being a heavily liberal area. I can see why the Democrats would want to end the supposedly unconstitutional exception of District representation. But the Democrats aren’t interested in ending the unconstitutional restrictions on gun ownership. Suddenly, I’m thinking the Democrats, at least in the House of Representatives, aren’t really as strong on restoring Constitutionally guaranteed rights as they are looking to solidify their slight majority in Congress.
Shame on the liberals in the House.
[tags]Democrats: protect DC residents Constitutional representation but not Constitutional gun rights[/tags]