Last week we reported that voting rights proponents were looking to add a provision in an upcoming defense appropriations bill that would grant DC representation in the House. Well, it’s looking like that probably won’t happen, after all. The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Dan Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, has stated his intention to block the provision. Senate Democrats fear that controversial additions to the spending bill could bog it down, or perhaps, kill the current iteration all together. Rep. Holmes-Norton seems to be holding out hope that the provision will still make it into the bill, but many voting rights advocates are already looking for other means.
There’s a hard choice on the table. The Senate will be taking up the revised legislation that would grant the District a voting Representative in the House, but would do so only if we also accepted that all of the District’s gun laws would have to come off the books for good.
The decision puts DC in between a rock and a hard place, as representation that the city has long sought is within grasp, but comes at what could be a terrible price. So, it seems we’re stuck. Compromise one principle to get access to one we’ve been long after? Or stick to your guns (uh, or lack thereof) and keep the dream of true voting perception at arms length still. It seems a bit of a Foustian bargain for the city. What are our leaders saying?