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D.C. Voting Rights Bill Expected On House Floor

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By Rebecca Blatt

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says she expects a D.C. Voting Rights bill to come to the House floor by next Thursday. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says the bill includes some version of an amendment repealing D.C. gun regulations.

Norton has spent the last year trying to shepherd the bill through the House without language repealing D.C. gun laws. A bill passed by the Senate included such an amendment.

But Norton says the gun rights forces in Congress have only gotten stronger. She says a repeal of gun regulations could be passed as a stand-alone bill.

Meanwhile, with strong Democratic control in Congress and support from President Obama, Norton calls this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure voting rights.

Ilir Zherka, president of the advocacy group D.C. Vote, agrees.

"We're not going to accept defeat simply because our opponents have the votes to amend our bill on hot button issues like gun rights or marriage equality or medical marijuana or anything else," says Zherka.

The bill would add two new House members, one for the Democrat-heavy District and another for Republican-leaning Utah.

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