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Pelosi Holds DC Statue Bill Over Gun Concerns

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By Manuel Quinones

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is putting off legislation aimed at allowing the District to place two statues inside the U.S. Capitol. She’s afraid gun rights advocates will use it as a vehicle to advance their agenda.

The District’s statues of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and architect Pierre L'Enfant are waiting for Congressional approval to become a part of the Capitol’s collection. Every state gets to send two statues.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports the move but says Republicans are resisting her efforts to consider the bill without changes.

And she doesn’t want gun advocates in Congress to add language to weaken District gun laws.

"I want to bring this up when we think we can have the votes to make it pass, and not have it have some poison-pill motion to recommit," she says.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is sponsoring the statue legislation and lobbying hard for passage. But the bill seems to share the same fate as legislation that would give the district home rule.

Democratic leaders scrapped that measure after it was amended to include a provision that would have made it much easier to own a gun in the District.

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