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article imageDC Voting Rights Bill Passes Through US Senate

By Can Tran     Feb 26, 2009 in Politics
Washington D.C. is on the verge of getting full representation in the United House of Representatives by a vote of 61-37. However, there is an attached amendment to scrap most of the District’s local gun-control laws.
So far, one can count on Washington D.C. taking one big step in getting full-voting representation in the United States Congress. The United States Senate has given approval and passed a bill that would allow Washington D.C. to have full-voting rights in the United States House of Representatives.
Back in 2007, a similar version failed in the United States Senate. United States President Barack Obama is a co-sponsor of that bill. Unfortunately back in 2007, it failed to get past the Senate. This is due to the bill only getting fifty-seven out of the necessary sixty votes. Back then, the “Magic 60” was not obtained.
Today, the bill passed through the United States Senate by a vote of 61-37. However, there is an attachment to the bill. Under this new attachment, the gun laws of Washington D.C. will be eased. That means if you live in Washington D.C., you can have more access to firearms. This attachment was approved by a vote of 62-36.
However, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California was against this attachment. She said it was being irresponsible. Feinstein explains: “I believe it will lead to more weapons and more violence on the streets of the nation’s capital. It will endanger the citizens of the district and government employees who work here, our elected officials and those who visit this great American capital.”
The easing of the gun laws could be a problem. However, the major issue is focused on the D.C. Voting rights act. There is a possibility that this attachment could be removed through the negotiations between the US House and the US Senate. Since it has gone through the US Senate, it will now go through the US House.
After that, it will go out to Obama. It is highly likely that this can be signed into law.
However, there is still opposition. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky criticized the bill by calling it unconstitutional.
While the D.C. Voting Rights Act is self-explanatory, Republicans have something to gain as well. Another seat will open up in the US House for Utah. So far, Utah has proven to be a state that leans towards the GOP.
With all of this said, this could be one of Obama’s next possible major domestic challenges. Should this be signed into law, Democratic Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton will have full voting rights in the United States House of Representatives. For Obama, the Democratic Party, and the citizens of Washington D.C., they will probably have to prepare for an interesting uphill battle in the near future.
This inevitably also brings forth the issue of gun-control laws and gun-rights. The only thing left is to see how it will fare in the US House.
Update:
Asides from a bill easing gun restriction laws, another bill was attached. The 'Broadcaster Freedom Act' was passed by a vote of 87-11. Under this bill, it would do away with the revival of the 'Fairness Doctrine Act.'
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