Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, tried unsuccessfully Wednesday afternoon to kill legislation to give the District full voting rights in Congress. Mr. McCain called for a constitutional point of order to question the legality of giving the District voting rights.

The vote failed 36-62.

Under the legislation proposed in Congress this year, the Democratic-leaning District would get a House member with full voting rights, and Republican-leaning Utah would get a fourth House seat.

Supporters think the bill finally has good chance of being passed, after a decades-long effort, because of Democratic gains in Congress in the November elections and because President Obama has said he would sign the bill.

However, opposition from Republicans, including amendments, again could kill the legislation. The bill, if approved, also likely will face a legal challenge questioning the constitutionality of giving the District full congressional representation. The issue likely would be decided by the Supreme Court.

Also on Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Jon Ensign, Nevada Republican, proposed an amendment to further reduce the District’s gun-ownership laws, which would make it hard for Democrats to support such voting-rights legislation.

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