The residents of the District of Columbia pay federal taxes, but have no voice in Congress. A measure is finally near passage that would, at long last, give D.C. a vote in the House of Representatives.
But before that happens, Senate Republicans want to ignore their professed principles and tinker a bit with the city’s governance.
Opponents of a bill that would award the District its first seat in the House of Representatives fought back yesterday with a blitz of amendments in the Senate, including one to repeal the city’s gun-control laws that appeared to have significant support. […]
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) said he was introducing the amendment [to undo the city’s gun laws] because the D.C. Council “has continued to enact onerous and unconstitutional firearms regulations” despite the Supreme Court decision last year overturning the city’s ban on handguns.
Think about that. A lawmaker from Nevada will be gracious enough to let 600,000 American taxpayers have a vote in the House, but only if he approves of their local gun-control laws.
This is absurd.
Indeed. And, even with that obnoxious amendment, even with all their yawping about freedom and rights and all that rot, the Cons voted overwhelmingly against representation for D.C.:
Why do the Dems in Congress bother to give these obstructionist fuckwits a single thing they want? This is like making a bargain with a bully – you get him to promise not to take your lunch money if you give him your favorite action figure, and then after he gets the action figure, he takes your lunch money anyway. That’s exactly how the Cons are acting.
It’ll be up to the House to kick the bully in the nads and take back both lunch money and action figure:
The gun amendement makes the Senate’s D.C. Vote legislation significantly different from a companion bill in the House, which is expected to face a floor vote next week.
Differences between the two bills would have to be worked out in negotiations between the two chambers. Proponents of the bill said they hoped the gun language could be removed during those talks.
“The District of Columbia leadership is fully united in its opposition to unwarranted amendments that would dramatically damage the District’s carefully revised gun law and expose the District to great harm through the undoing of its laws,” D.C. Council President Vincent C. Gray and Council Member Phil Mendelson, chairman of the council’s public-safety commission, said in a letter to Congress released yesterday.
In a statement after the Senate’s vote, Ilir Zherka, executive director of D.C. Vote, a lobbying group, said the city has passed a “significant hurdle in our fight for full democracy for DC residents.”
But he added of the gun amendment: “If anything, this amendment has strengthened our resolve to continue to fight for the rights of Washingtonians. Congress repeatedly treats the District as a testing ground for flawed, dangerous legislation. This has to stop – and we’ll keep fighting to ensure that the bill signed into law is not tainted by this amendment.”
I imagine the taint can be cleansed. Especially now that Dems understand that including it doesn’t win Con votes.