Archive for the 'Davis Bill' Category

Not All Republicans Are Bad

Friday, March 30th, 2007

I’ve been beating up on some House Republicans the last few days after the delay in passing the DC Voting Rights Act in the House. I would like to take this opportunity to point out for the record that not all members the GOP are plotting to deny DC the vote, and in fact some are actively fighting for us.

The first good-guy is Jack Kemp. This former Congressman, cabinet secretary, and vice-presidential candidate has been a steadfast supporter of DC voting rights. He recently published an article on entitled “Shortsighted House GOP would deny D.C. residents the vote“. In this article he states:

The Republicans in the House, as well as advisers to the president - by threatening a veto - are in danger not only of indifference to district citizens, but in fact they’re showing disdain for a city predominantly governed and populated by people of color. This can be interpreted as racially insensitive at best and racially prejudiced at worst. Either way, it’s really dumb politics because the party of Lincoln, Douglass, Grant, Eisenhower and Bush 41, among others, is sacrificing its civil rights soul for a mess of political pottage.

Jack Kemp is a respected leader in the conservative movement, so I hope these words will change some minds.

I also wanted to point out the the DC Republican Party has been out front on this bill and is working the issue with members of their own party in Congress. Here is a section of a press release they recently put out:

“We are going to fight for voting rights, because we are the party of Abraham Lincoln,” said Robert Kabel, Chairman of the D.C. Republican Party. “This is a bill written by a Republican Congressman, and it is the bi-partisan solution to a historic injustice. The American citizens of the District of Columbia pay their taxes, fight for their country and deserve equal rights.”

You can read the full press release here.

And lastly, I have to once again give a shout-out to Indiana Congressman Mike Pence for supporting this bill in committee. He didn’t have to that, there was really nothing in it for him, and it took guts to break ranks with his party to cast that vote.

If only there were more Republicans who embraced the whole “party of Lincoln” idea as more than a talking point…

Can You Make Two Phone Calls Today?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

In case you haven’t heard by now, last week a few Republican Congressmen temporarily blocked the progress of the DC Voting Rights Act on the House floor using a rarely implemented parliamentary procedure. Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) attempted to amend the DC Voting Rights Act by adding a section that would eliminate DC’s gun control laws. It was a pathetic attempt to not only deny over a half million people voting representation in Congress, but to also re-write our local laws to their liking.

This is only a minor setback. The bill will return to the House floor!

Can you please take a minute and make two phone calls to help with this effort? I need you to call both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Both have been champions on this issue and we need to thank them for their leadership in this fight. They also need to hear from people that this bill needs to brought back to the House floor this week before the upcoming recess.

Their phone numbers are below:

Speaker Pelosi: (202) 225-0100

Majority Leader Hoyer: (202) 225-3130

Please make the following points on your phone call:

* You are calling in regards to the DC Voting Rights Act
* You are very appreciative of their leadership on this issue
* You are urging the House leadership to bring the bill back to a floor vote this week.

Please take a few minutes and make the call today. These offices need to hear from people like you to get this bill back to the House floor. After you make your calls, please forward this email to others who would be supportive of this effort.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and co-workers about

Guns for Votes

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I saw this go down live, and now this came over the AP Wire:

Legislation to give the District of Columbia voting representation in the House stalled short of passage Thursday when Republicans unexpectedly injected the volatile issue of gun control into the debate.

Apparently fearful they might lose control of the proceedings, Democrats decided to postpone action on the voting rights measure, which had appeared to be moving methodically toward passage.

Seems that Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has thrown a wrench into the plans by motioning to recommit with instructions. His idea is that if you are for District Voting Rights, then you have to be for repealing the District’s handgun ban as well.

No word on when this is going back to the floor….I’ll post more when I know.

Here is a link to the Post article on this:

I really hope he didn’t get the idea from the District’s own lawyers who argued the 2nd amendment doesn’t apply to the District because it’s not a state. (Talk about a mixed message when we are going for voting rights the same week!).

Also, I thought Rep. Al Green from Texas had the best speech of the day….noting that there were two camps on Constitutional issues like the Dredd Scott case, Plessy v Ferguson, and Brown v Board of Education. The question is, as he stated, what side are you on?

DC Voting Rights Passes Judiciary. Next Stop the House Floor!

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Great news from Capitol Hill today. The House Judiciary Committee passed the DC Voting Rights Act by a vote of 21-13. The bill is expected to go to the full floor sometime late next week. Most people, myself included, expect it to pass.

I was in the hearing room today during the mark-up, and it was entertaining to say the least. I have to take a minute to thank Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.) who joined Democrats in voting for the bill. He also promised to help pass it in the full House.

According to the Washington Post, he told Delegate Norton his support was “heartfelt”. I know I speak for everyone in the District when we thank him for his vote and welcome his help for final passage. I hope people back in his district give him credit for this vote as well.

It’s been quite a week for this issue with a hearing and two successful markups from key committees. It took a lot of work from a lot of people to get us this far…but we are nowhere near having this thing signed, sealed, and delivered. When it passes the House, we still need to get it through the Senate and that’s gonna take work. You can help by taking two minutes and going to - send the link to your friends, add it to your email signature, and just get people to take action!

We’re almost there, let’s keep up the momentum.

Here’s the post article:

House Committee Passes D.C. Voting Bill

DC Voting Rights Act Passes House Oversight and Reform Committee

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Great day on the Hill as the DC Voting Rights Act (H.R. 1433) was passed out of the House Oversight and Reform Committee today by a vote of 24-5.

There were a number of amendments that were offered - the most entertaining one was by Representative Lynn Westmoreland. He attempted to amend the bill to read that if the partisan balance of a Democratic member from the District and a Republican member from Utah did not materialize, then the bill was null and void. Chairman Waxman wisely pointed out the United States Congress should not be in any position to tell people who what party they need to vote for. (Of course that amendement went nowhere, and I think Representative Westmoreland was just trying to make some sort of point )

Tomorrow there is a hearing in the Judiciary Committee at 10:00am in 2141 Rayburn. And then a mark-up on Thursday. It’s going to be an historic week!

Additional Reading:

Chairman Waxman’s Opening Statement

Opening Statement of Ranking Member Tom Davis

Washington Post Article:
D.C. Could Get First Full Vote in House

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