Capital Hill Watch
District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 (S. 1257)
The Senate is expected to vote on Tuesday, September 18, 2007, on the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 (S. 1257) [ 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. 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.
What Can You Do?
1. Urge your senators to NOT SUPPORT cloture ([60 votes required] A parliamentary procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is taken on the matter under discussion.
2. Next once the measure comes to a full vote in the Senate urge your senators to Urge your senators to NOT SUPPORT the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 (S. 1257)
Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your senator's office.)
To go to you senators' websites, find their E-mail or to find out who your senators are... http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm
The Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator (last name):
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