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Capital Hill Watch Alert

District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 (H.R. 157)

On February 25, 2009, the Senate approved by a 61-37 vote (To view how your senators voted visit: 00073)  the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 (S. 160) [ Full Text of Legislation].

The measure for the first time in more than 200 years would provide a seat in Congress for the District of Columbia which is mostly a Democratic district and would also create an additional at-large House of Representative seat for Utah, a state that votes largely Republican.  A vote is expected this week in the House of Representatives on a related measure the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 (H.R. 157) [ Full Text of Legislation].

The Constitution's provisions governing the composition and election of the United States Congress is violated by the legislation. For example: 

Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states."     

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 -- also known as the "District clause" -- states that Congress has the power "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."

Granting the District of Columbia voting rights through the proposed legislation does not come under the Congress' authority.  For congressional representation, a constitutional amendment would be required since the District of Columbia is not a state.   Each member of Congress is required to take an oath and swear to “support and defend the Constitution” not to assist in its evisceration. 

What Can You Do?  

Urge your representative to NOT SUPPORT the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 (H.R. 157).

Contact Information:    

Capitol Hill Switchboard Number: 202-224-3121  (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your senator's office.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html    

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.    

Addressing Correspondence:    

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515  

Dear Representative (last name):  

 

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