Moving to the Senate Floor

I view this as the first step toward statehood with two Senators from DC, From the DC Vote PR sent out:

Senate Committee Passes Bill 9-1

Washington, DC - DC Vote applauds the strong, bipartisan vote today of 9-1 in favor of granting DC its first-ever voting member of Congress. All the Democrats on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted in favor of the bill. They were joined by three key Republicans: Senators Susan Collins (ME), Norm Coleman (MN) and George Voinovich (OH)...

The Committee adopted two amendments to the bill. One amendment seeks to stipulate that this bill only provides representation in the House for DC residents. DC Vote believes that Americans living in our nation's capital deserve full representation in the House and the Senate. We recognize that S. 1257 doesn't provide for Senate representation, and we support the bill for providing the most basic right, a vote in the People's House. A second amendment seeks expedited review.

In a room packed with supporters wearing red and blue "Let DC Vote in the People's House" buttons, Chairman Lieberman (I-CT) allowed for a brief, spontaneous burst of applause as the vote count was announced...

And Joe did something right. Is there anyone like Jesse Helms in the Senate that is going to try and filibuster this vote?

Tags: DC Statehood (all tags)



Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

I recall reading this is part of a bi-partisan compromise to give Utah another seat as well. Is that right? I also recall reading on Political Wire that Dems would have a good shot at the new Utah house seat, though that doesn't seem plausible to me on the face of it. But I don't know anything about the possible candidates.

by thesleepthief 2007-06-13 09:11AM | 0 recs
Utah seat

It's not really a Utah seat. It's a new House seat that would go to Utah for now by the normal process of apportioning seats by population. After the 2010 census, another state would benefit -- we can't know which one now because we don't know what the population figures will be, but it won't be Utah, which will be getting four seats then regardless of whether this bill becomes law.

I don't know about the likelihood of a Democrat winning the new Utah seat, but my guess is that's just wishful thinking.

by KCinDC 2007-06-13 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

If I remember correctly the plan takes three very Republican leaning seats and turns it into three even more Republican leaning seats and one mildly Democratic seat, with the expectation that Rep. Matheson (D), would happily exchange his very Republican seat for the one Democratic leaning one.  This would add another Republican congressman as expected.

Some Utah blogs speculated that with the new plan, Matheson could stay with one of the very Republican seats allowing a different Democrat to be elected to the one Democratic leaning seat which would add another Democrat instead of another Republican.  This idea relies on Matheson winning a seat even more republican than his current one which he probably could do, but it is doubtful that he would try when a safe seat is there for the taking.

by dbeard115 2007-06-13 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

How exactly would a push for statehood work (and what would the state be named - Columbia?)?

Good to hear DC is at least about to get representation in the House.

by Leviathan 2007-06-13 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

Statehood is granted through the vote of a mere majority in both the House and the Senate; yes, Columbia, or New Columbia(?) is proposed.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-06-13 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

Whoa, I didn't know it was that simple.  I mean, it's not simple passing something through both chambers, but I thought it would be a more strenuous process, a la ratified by 3/5 of all existing state houses, or something, lol.  Is statehood something that is reasonably going to be taken up by this Congress?  Having two additional Democratic Senators would be great.

by Leviathan 2007-06-13 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

That last sentence is why you shouldn't get your hopes up.  There's still a filibuster to worry about, IIRC.

by meelar 2007-06-13 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe giving DC statehood would require a constitutional amendment since DC is specifically designated a non-state in the Constitution.  That's why previous efforts at statehood, which required ratification by individual states, have failed in the past.  

by HSTruman 2007-06-13 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

You are correct.

by THE MODERATE 2007-06-13 11:00AM | 0 recs
No amendment needed

The boundaries of the District are not defined in the Constitution, and changed in 1846 when the portion ceded by Virginia (now Arlington and partof Alexandria) was returned. The idea would be to carve out a minimal federal district consisting only of government areas with no permanent residents and have that be the District, while the rest of the land became a state.

It's true that we'd need a constitutional amendment to undo the 23rd Amendment so that the small carved-out area wouldn't get three electoral votes, but that should be a no-brainer once the state is created.

by KCinDC 2007-06-13 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: No amendment needed

What you're describing is different than giving DC statehood and would, practically, still require a constitutional amendment be passed BEFORE giving the new territory statehood, b/c otherwise DC would have three electoral votes pending ratification.

Look, I'm all for making sure that folks who live in DC get full representation in both the House and Senate.  It's ridiculous that that hasn't happened already and it made me madder than hell when I lived in the district for 5 years.  But I think that any real solution likely will require a constitutional amendment, whether we utilize your approach, cede the residential areas to Virginia and Maryland, or simply turn the existing district into a state.  Maybe I'm wrong and this current plan will survive judicial scrutiny, but I doubt it.

by HSTruman 2007-06-13 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: No amendment needed

What I'm describing is what most people I've heard talk about it mean when they say "giving DC statehood". I've not heard anyone suggest that the new state would include the White House and the Capitol and the rest of the federal enclave -- that area would remain to be the district referred to in the Constitution, just as the two-thirds of the original DC remained when the Virginia portion was retroceded.

And if the new state were created, the three electoral votes from the 23rd Amendment would belong to the unpopulated federal enclave, so I can't imagine there would be any opposition to repealing that in no time at all.

by KCinDC 2007-06-13 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: No amendment needed

I do not know if the writer is saying legaly you would need an amendment for for all practical purposes no congress anytime soon will vote on statehood if it is not an amendment, perhaps he could verify this but I it has been about forty years since since the 23 amdendment was passed just to get the vote to allow the DC delegate to become a regualr member, my guess is if this happens do not look for any proctical changes for another 40 years.

by swl1966 2007-06-13 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: No amendment needed

That is indeed what I meant -- thanks for clarifying my statement.

by HSTruman 2007-06-13 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Moving to the Senate Floor

That PoliticalWire thing was talking about Jan Graham, Utah's Dem ex-AG.

by DemGenii 2007-06-13 11:10AM | 0 recs
Serious concern
By giving Utah another Rep. doesn't that also give them one more electoral vote?!?!?
why would we be giving the GOP any extra votes in the in presidential election?!?!?!
by jsaveliv 2007-06-13 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious concern

If the extra Utah vote ends up making a difference, then it would have been an electoral tie otherwise, in which case the election would be thrown into the Congress.

by KCinDC 2007-06-13 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious concern

Which we would have won, because the majority of states in the House of Representatives have a majority Democratic delegation.

by College Progressive 2007-06-13 06:57PM | 0 recs


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