Today, the House passed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 (H.R. 1905), a long overdue bill that would give D.C.’s member of Congress full voting power in the U.S. House. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas released the following statement:
“We celebrate this enormous victory for the District of Columbia and for democracy. We congratulate D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and her lead cosponsor Representative Tom Davis of Virginia for their hard work and determination. Today, the House of Representatives is saying that America should no longer stand for the blatant disenfranchisement of District residents. Finally, after more than 200 years, over 500,000 tax-paying, law-abiding Americans are one step closer to being granted full representation. Now it is up to the Senate to make sure that the work of the House does not go to waste. We call on Senators to act promptly to pass H.R. 1905 and end an injustice that has been allowed to go on far too long. We also urge President Bush to abandon his veto threat. A veto would perpetuate a system that denies some Americans representation just because of where they live. If President Bush is working so hard to give Iraqis the ability to vote, surely he can do the same thing for Americans living in Washington, D.C.
“Even if legislation is enacted, much work will remain before District residents have full representation on Capitol Hill, but they will no longer be without a way to make their voices heard when Congress votes on issues that affect them and the future of the country.”