Will DC finally get some Rep?

News & Politics

I went to highschool in Washington, DC. And my family still lives there. I follow its local politics, which are fascinating -- I suppose like all local politics to local residents -- and for 13 years I've watched the DC statehood movement crawl along at a glacial pace (Activist Sam Smith provides fantastic history of it).

It looks like something's about to happen. DC could get a Representative in Congress... but it's a shady deal that will likely prevent statehood and two senators in the upper house (not that I think that even this would amounts to true representation or functioning government).

Jonathan Singer at MyDD links to a Post article with the latest:

A congressional committee overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday that would grant the District a permanent, full voting member of the House of Representatives and add another legislator from Utah.
The House Committee on Government Reform voted 29 to 4 in favor of the proposal sponsored by its chairman, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). The measure now goes to the House Judiciary Committee, whose chairman has agreed to bring it up for a vote.
Davis said he thought the legislation could be approved by the full Congress this year. But congressional aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, were more cautious.
They noted that the Judiciary Committee is busy with other issues and might need time to analyze changes Davis recently made to his bill. In particular, to gain Democratic support, Davis agreed that the extra House seat going to Utah would be at-large, to avoid redrawing a district held by a Democrat.
Singer asks all the right questions:

"--Will passage of the Davis legislation inhibit the effort of granting DC full statehood -- with two Senators as well as a Representative -- rather than move it forward?
--Is it constitutional for Congress to mandate that the seat given to Utah be at-large? Unless I'm mistaken, the manner by which members are elected to the House (i.e. the designation of districts) is decided by the state government, not the federal government. If the measure is not clearly constitutional, what assurances can be given to Democrats that the Utah legislature won't redraw districts mid-census to gerrymander Democrat Jim Matheson out of office?
--How will Davis' measure affect DC's electoral votes? How will it effect those of Utah? Will it be the case that DC's electoral votes stay at 3 - which would seem to make sense - while Utah's increase by one, thus giving the GOP an extra electoral vote?"

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