On Thursday, February 26, the U.S. Senate voted 61 to 37 in favor of the DC House Voting Rights Act (S. 160), but added a controversial amendment eliminating most of the District's strict gun control laws. If enacted into law, the House of Representatives would permanently increase its size to 437 members, from 435. Under the legislation, the District of Columbia's Delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, would receive full voting rights in the U.S. House and Utah would gain another seat because that state is next in line using the 2000 Census. The House is set to take up the measure next week without the gun amendment--any difference between the bills will be reconciled in conference committee. During the 110th Congress, the U.S. House passed the DC Voting Rights Act by a vote of 241 to 177, but the Senate was three votes short of the 60 votes needed for cloture. The bill is expected to pass both chambers and be signed into law by President Obama this year.
[Washington Post Article on Senate Vote]
[Visit our friends at DC Vote]
[More information about the DC House Voting Rights Act of 2009]
[Tell your Senator to Vote "Yes" on S. 160]
[New York Times Editorial]